Commercial Sales and Marketing

Commercial Sales and Marketing cooperatives are composed of firms that provide marketing, processing, and supply services to farmers (including many recently formed biofuels refining companies), consumer cooperatives that buy wholesale on behalf of consumers, arts and crafts cooperatives that supply and sell the work of artist members, and other purchasing and worker cooperatives that operate across a wide variety of economic subsectors. As Table 4-2 shows there are 3,463 commercial sales and marketing cooperatives in the U.S.: 2,858 of these provided us with data. These "reporting" cooperatives have 6 million members that account for almost $61B in assets, $176B in revenue, >250,000 jobs and nearly $7.5B in wages. Farmer cooperatives account for by far the largest share of this sector across all measures of firm size. Figure 4-2.1 displays the geographic distribution of firms within this aggregate sector.

We report only on firms for which we have collected economic data; some firms did not respond to our information requests. As a result, these numbers represent the lower bounds of the full economic footprint of cooperatives in this aggregate sector. As described in Section 4, we extrapolated to the full population to perform our impact analysis. Therefore, the sum of direct impacts in the following subsections will be larger than the corresponding aggregate variables reported here.

Table 4-2: Commercial Sales and MarketingSummary of Key Economic Indicators
Economic Sector Reporting Total   Estab.   Assets Revenue Wages   Employees Memberships
  (firms)       (million dollars)   (thousands)
Farmer Supply and Marketing 2,535 2,547   4,479   44,394 119,074 6,014   147.80 2,484
Bio-Fuels 17 39   39   2,750 4,231 44   1.75 20
Grocery Cooperatives 101 290   446   323 865 171   13.60 487
Arts and Crafts 80 305   305   34 32 5   0.83 16
Other (Retail and Service Cooperatives) 125 282   423   13,338 51,391 1,288   102 3,075
Total 2,858 3,463   5,692   60,839 175,593 7,522   265.78 6,082

Figure 4-2.1: Combined Distribution of Commercial Sales and Marketing Cooperatives