Why Member Equity is Critical to Successful Cocoa Co-operatives?

October 29, 2013


This paper makes the case that cocoa cooperatives must adopt member equity plans based on usage in order to grow and become independent successful co-operatives. The introduction quotes notable co-operative experts on the centrality of member equity.  Sections describe: (1) challenges facing cocoa co-ops; (2)  reasons that the chocolate, Fair trade and development organizations should understand and support member equity plans; (3) the differences between co-ops and other business forms; (4) member equity plans; (5)  equity redemption plans; (6) why agricultural co-ops in developing countries have not adopted such plans; (7) cocoa co-ops as group-based businesses; (8) the donor’s role in co-operative development; (9) the financial difference between farmer associations and co-ops; and (10)  capitalizing farmer associations and co-ops.  The conclusion outlines the historical and current roles of co-ops in social and economic development. There are two attachments: a case study of the adoption of member equity plans by Acopagro and Oro Verde in Peru; and a selected bibliography on member equity for those interested in more insights and information.

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