Co-operatives Sweden (Svensk Kooperation), an important new opinion-shaper for cooperative businesses, is being launched on 11 May.
Behind the initiative are the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), the Swedish Co-operative Union (KF), the HSB cooperative housing association and Fremia. The objective is to disseminate knowledge and to contribute to modernising the image of the cooperative movement.
Together, the 100 biggest cooperative businesses in Sweden employ around 100,000 people and generate an annual turnover of SEK 400 billion. As such, they play a key role in the Swedish business community. Despite this, the cooperative business model is still viewed from a surprisingly old-fashioned perspective. The intention is for Co-operatives Sweden to change this image.
“Cooperative businesses are remarkably common at global level. Sweden is actually something of an exception, as the country is home to a comparatively small number of cooperative businesses. We believe that this is due to a worrying gap in knowledge about this way of doing business in Sweden – which is a situation we are keen to change,” relates Anders Källström, CEO of LRF and Chairman of the Board of Co-operatives Sweden.
Co-operatives Sweden constitutes an historic working agreement between cooperative companies active in both the manufacturing and consumer links of the chain, and the objective is to increase knowledge about cooperation by powering opinion and public debate, and by helping to diversify the business community in Sweden. The core values of the cooperative movement – democracy, sustainability, longevity, involvement and profitability – will permeate the work at all times.
“There is a natural place for the cooperative form of business in today’s market economy. The Swedish economy needs diversity, because it is essential to ensure that different forms of business can compete on equal terms. Cooperation is the most durable and sustainable form of business of all, and it is profitable for members and companies alike,” adds Tommy Ohlström, CEO of KF and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Co-operatives Sweden.
The Board of Directors of Co-operation Sweden consists of Anders Källström, CEO of LRF (Chairman); Tommy Ohlström, CEO of KF (Deputy Chairman); Liza Nyberg, CEO of Landshypotek; Pernilla Bonde, CEO of HSB Riksförbund; Leif Linde, of Riksbyggen and Chairman of the Board of Fremia, and Per Olof Nyman, CEO of Lantmännen. Jan Edén and Petra Pilawa are the business executives.
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The mission of Co-operatives Sweden is to increase knowledge about cooperative businesses by powering opinion and public debate. Behind the initiative are the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF), the Swedish Co-operative Union (KF), the HSB cooperative housing association and Fremia. The financial association Cooperatives Sweden was founded in May 2017, marking an historic working relationship between consumer and manufacturer cooperation.