February 27, 2013

Agricultural Cooperatives Maintain Strong Presence in Parana

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The state of Parana has probably the strongest system of agricultural cooperatives of any state in Brazil and the cooperatives have managed to maintain a very strong presence in the state over the years. The five biggest cooperatives accounted for 45% of the gross receipts from all the cooperatives in the state in 2002 and 44% of the gross receipts of all the cooperatives in 2012.

There are now five cooperatives in the state of Parana that have gross sales of over two billion reals per year - Coamo, Cocamar, C. Vale, Lar, and Agraria. Collectively, the cooperatives in Parana registered a 19% grown in total revenues in 2012, which far surpassed the 1% growth in the Brazilian economy in general.

The cooperatives credit their strong presence to a rapid expansion of their industrialization of agricultural products. The cooperatives in Parana do more processing of the products than in any other Brazilian state. Approximately 44% of all the grain delivered to the cooperatives is processed into other products. The biggest cooperatives in the state have very diverse operations including: grain handling and marketing, grain processing, soybean crushing, sugar and ethanol production, poultry production and processing, hog production and processing, machinery and input sales, custom fertilizer and spray applications, and some even operate their own system of supermarkets.

The largest cooperative in the state is Coamo with sales of R$ 7.15 billion in 2012. The cooperative started industrialization in the early 1980's and has continued to expand its processing facilities. According to the president of the cooperative, Jose Aroldo Gallassini, the cooperative is currently expanding 40 facilities and construction a new R$ 80 million flower mill.

The number of cooperatives in the state has continued to increase over the years. In 2000 there were 202 cooperatives in the state and that has increased to 240 in 2011 before consolidation lowered the number to 236 in 2012.