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“Educated Trainers Stronger Cooperatives” Project 2nd Training in Bonn, Germany

Summary of the Training Program

Educated Trainers Stronger Cooperatives is a project coordinated by the Ankara Development Agency and funded by the Turkish National Agency under the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Adult Education (KA2). In this Project, Cooperative College from UK, Legacoop Puglia from Italy and DGRV from Germany along with our Turkish Partners; Ankara Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, Ankara Provincial Directorate of Commerce as well as District Governorships of Beypazarı and Nallıhan are collaborating under the coordination of Ankara Development Agency. After the Opening Meeting of the Project on 08 February 2017 and the first training mobility was organised by Legacoop Puglia in Bari, Italy between 22-26.05.2017, the second training mobility was organized by German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation reg. Assoc. (DGRV) in Bonn between 03-07.07.2017.

1st Day: German cooperative sector, history, organization, its importance, law, cooperative values and principles were overviewed and an example of a successful German producer cooperative of vegetables was mentioned at the first day of the training.

  • The first co-operatives were founded more than 150 years ago as a reaction to the economic and social problems, i.e. peasants’ liberalisation, industrialisation and new economic freedom.
  • Origin of the German Cooperative System is based on both Friedrich-Wilhelm RAIFFEISEN and   Hermann SCHULZE – DELITZSCH
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm RAIFFEISEN developed a self-help system and self-help organizations for small farmers. In 1864, he founded the first saving and credit coop and Raiffeisen banks become starting-point for co-operative enterprises.
  • Hermann SCHULZE – DELITZSCH organised self-help organizations for small craftsmen and merchants in urban areas and in 1890 he founded the first savings and credit coop for craftsmen and merchants.
  • First co-operative federations were founded in 1870’s, German Co-operative Societies Act was passed in 1889 and the Raiffeisen organization (German Raiffeisen Federation) united with the Schulze-Delitzsch organisation (German Cooperative Federation) in 1972. This leaded to the creation of DGRV.
  • In Germany, there are 7000 cooperatives. 5.500 cooperatives are under DGRV. Especially agricultural, small scale industry and service coops as well as cooperative bank.
  • There are 22 million members, 850.000 work place and 60% of all craftsmen, 75% of all retail traders, 90% of all bakers and butchers and over 65% of all self-employed tax advisors are members of a cooperative.
  • A cooperative is owned by its members, established and run by its members. Cooperative principles are self-help, self-responsibility, self-administration, democratic member control, member economic participation, voluntariness, open membership, identity and locality.
  • In order to set up a cooperative in Germany, minimum 3 people, written statute, examination of business idea and registration at local court are necessary. However, no minimum capital is necessary.
  • Reichenau Coop has 100 active members and has annual 13 million euro turnover. It produces 14.000 tons of vegetables annually. It has market advantage through superior freshness of the produce due to closeness to customers. It has well-known brand name for organic vegetables.

2nd Day:  German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV) which is an apex and audit organization of the German cooperative system and Academy of German Cooperatives which organize the cooperative trainings are introduced.


  • DGRV has purpose to promote and strengthen the co-operative movement and auditing the cooperatives.
  • Its services are lobbying in Berlin and Brussels, auditing, legal and tax advice, coordination of education and training services, support co-operative movements abroad,support for the foundation of new co-operatives and support the promotion of members’ interests.
  • There 22 million members of DGRV. These are federal cooperative associations, regional cooperative auditing federations, Coop federations, Enterprises with other legal form whose statute corresponds with the cooperative principles
  • DGRV as German Cooperative Apex Federation aims at strengthening Cooperative Partner Organizations worldwide. It improves the situation of disadvantaged groups by strengthening socio – economic structures.
  • DGRV audit activities focus on the central cooperatives, mainly credit institutions, trade and service cooperatives, and data centers. Examination includes the economic situation as well as the regularity of the financial statements, the annual financial statements and the management.

Academy of German Cooperatives (ADG)

  • The leading institute on a national level is the Academy of German Cooperatives (ADG) in Montabaur. On a regional level, there are 8 academies all over Germany.
  • It is the leading institute for cooperative management education in Germany and in particular a management academy for cooperative banks and companies
  • Bank Training Programs, Seminars and Workshops, Project Management, Knowledge Brokerage, HR Consultancy, HR Development and Assessment, Trainer’s Training and E-learning courses are offered by the Academy.

3rd Day:  Basics of producer and marketing cooperatives are introduced and production in agricultural cooperatives, goods cooperatives / farmers‘purchasing cooperatives, central cooperative associations (hauptgenossenschaft) and logistics in cooperative sector are overviewed. Landgard fruits and vegetable cooperative is visited.

Production/Marketing and Agricultural Cooperatives:

  • A marketing cooperative, sometimes known as a producer cooperative, allows its members, who produce the same or similar products, to cooperatively market and sell the products.
  • Producer cooperatives today function as marketing and supply cooperative.
  • The producer cooperative, nowadays rather called marketing cooperative, is mainly found in the agricultural sector. The (agricultural producer) cooperative is a legal form which is modernly used to achieve better market conditions for its members (marketing and supply cooperative)
  • Agricultural cooperatives are organized under DRV (Deutscher Raiffeisenverband / German Raiffeisen Association). In total, there are 2186 registered Raiffeisen cooperatives in 2016. Out of which 730 are purely agricultural cooperatives.
  • Almost every farmer is organized in one or more cooperatives. Agricultural cooperatives offer extensive employment opportunities in various business fields. On average, one agricultural cooperative in Germany employs 26 people. Usually, the main business fields of a producer cooperative are goods, wine, animal feed, dairy products, fruits and vegetables as well as cattle and meat.

Goods Cooperatives / Farmers‘purchasing Cooperatives

  • Another form of producer cooperatives which is also very popular in Germany are goods cooperatives, also called farmers ‘purchasing cooperatives or commodities cooperatives. The goods cooperatives are the section with the highest turnover rates of the Raiffeisen organization.

        Central Cooperative Associations (Hauptgenossenschaft)

  • There are 5 popular agricultural central cooperative associations. They represent all individual members on national and international level

         The Landgard Marketing Cooperative

  • Germany’s leading marketing organization in the gardening/horticulture sector. It markets what is produced by its members
  • The company is fully owned by its members who deliver a wide range of pottet plants, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables to Landgard over the whole years.

4rd Day: Citizen’s Cooperative and principles of local cooperatives ownership, renewable energy cooperatives and example of cooperative community project of Raiffeisenbank Lorup are overviewed.

Citizen Cooperatives

  • Coops which are created by people in a new field of common interest and exclusively or predominantly owned by local population.
  • Locally owned citizen’s cooperatives in Germany are found in renewable energy cooperatives.
  • Creation of renewable energy coops increases strongly since 2000. Its aim is to support energy transition and to supply members and community with clean and cheaper energy.

 Renewable Energy Cooperatives

  • More than 850 renewable energy cooperatives are organized under DGRV.
  • Types of renewable energy cooperatives are photovoltaic, wind energy, local heat network and bio energy villages

The Raiffeisenbank Lorup eG

  • It is a regional bank that founded in 1900.It has 4,175 customers and 1,570 members. It has 28 trained, friendly and service-oriented employees.
  • Bank has Raiffeisen Energy Park Lorup project which has ecological benefits.
  • Bank has also run a social project to eliminate the side-effects of their projects. They built 14 barrier-free living apartments which mean that the use of the apartment is possible for people with physical handicaps without the help of others in the center of Lorup.

5th Day: In the last day of the training all the subjects that are studied during the training are reviewed and evaluation of the training has been done.

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