Cooperation in Latvia

Cooperative companies, providing agricultural and forestry services, are looking for new markets for agricultural or forestry products produced by their members, takes care of improving their members’ competitiveness and well-being.

In recent years, farmers and forest owners are actively involved in operations of cooperative companies, providing agricultural services. From 2000, encouraged by a favorable State policy, competitive cooperative companies, providing agricultural services, started developing in Latvia, and lately, these companies show an upward development trend. Their turnover is gradually increasing. In 2013, cooperative companies, providing agricultural services, united 9293 members with the total turnover EUR 393.million. (Fig.1)

Figure 1. Turnover of the cooperative companies, providing agricultural services in 2004-2013
Source: Latvian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives

According to data of the Register of Companies, in the first half of 2014, there were 130 cooperative companies, providing agricultural services, in Latvia. The most successfully developed were cooperative companies in milk and cereal sectors. Of these 130 cooperative companies 33 were engaged in milk sector, 42 – in cereal production, 14 – in animal husbandry, 17 – in fruit and vegetable production.

From 2012, the Law On Cooperative Companies envisages to also found and approve the cooperative companies providing forestry services. For the purpose of this law, they are forest owners’ cooperative companies, providing forestry services and services for marketing of forestry products but they are not engaged in production of forestry products.

The first two cooperative companies, providing forestry services, were founded in 2012, but in 2013 there were already four. In the first half of 2014, there were seven cooperative companies, providing forestry services, registered in Latvia but only four of them are operating actively, which unite 89 members, who are natural persons, with the net turnover EUR 502 385. These four cooperative companies totally manage in average 824 ha of forest area, and they are situated in Līgatne, Inčukalns, Alsunga and Madona regions.