Restructuring Agricultural Cooperatives

By George Hendrikse


The general theme of this book is that the choice of governance structure matters. The empirical significance of governance structure choice in the agricultural sector is illustrated in three papers. The paper ‘Growers’ associations and the stability of VTN/The Greenery’ presents a case study regarding the transition of a major fruit and vegetables enterprise in the Netherlands. The paper ‘Electronic Reverse Auctions in Demand Chains: Prototype and Experiments in the Fruit Industry’ adopts an experimental design to investigate the impact of the governance structure reverse auction. Finally, a cross section study regarding the diversification behavior of cooperatives and investor owned firms is presented in ‘Diversification and corporate governance’. There are also three contributions regarding cooperative theory. First, a review of the advances in cooperative theory since 1990 is provided in ‘Advances in Cooperative Theory since 1990: A Review of Agricultural Economics Literature’. The fascinating governance structure developments in the rural sector in China is presented in ‘Commons, Collectives and Corporations. The development and change in China’s rural sector’. The chapter ‘On the Future of Cooperatives: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead’ addresses the influence of cooperatives in the previous century as well as a number of aspects regarding the contingent allocation of authority and the frequency of board meetings. Finally, the chapter ‘Growers’ Associations and the Stability of VTN/The Greenery’ investigates the trade-off between innovation and countervailing power in the emergence of grower associations.