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2013: A good year for agricultural cooperatives

For agricultural cooperatives across the world, 2013 was a good year. In fact, several U.S. ag cooperatives ranked among the world's top feed manufacturers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently reported that in 2013 agricultural cooperatives increased their sales by 4 percent, or roughly $246 million. While the overall number of cooperatives decreased due to the ongoing trend toward consolidation, their employment numbers managed to increase by 5 percent (7,000 jobs).

The success of these cooperatives and their member owners correlates with increasing production volumes in the U.S. compound feed industry. And today, half way through the widely heralded “record harvest” of 2014, the outlook for feed prices in the coming year brings great optimism for growth in both the livestock sector and the feed industry in 2015.

These co-op trends — both profitability and consolidation –are mirrored around the world. In fact, many ag cooperatives standout as the largest feed producers in their respective countries.

The success of these co-ops becomes evident when reviewing the data collected for Feed Management’s sister publication’s “World’s Top Feed Companies” report (Feed International, October/November 2014). The data used to develop the 97-company listing was drawn from WATT Global Media’s exclusive Top Feed Companies database and features the global leading compound feed manufacturers by volume. The companies and cooperatives featured in the issue produced 1 million metric tons or more in 2013.

According to WATT Research, seven of the top 30 compound feed manufacturers in 2013 are listed as farmer-owned cooperatives — even if the companies are commercial enterprises that were created by the cooperative. Many of these cooperatives can be found in Asia — particularly in China.

If you’re interested in perusing the full listing of the top global compound feed manufacturers of 2013, visit Or, if you prefer to view the stats of a specific company — production volume, capacity, species, etc. — you may also access the master database.

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