To be small means great things

The Cooperative Movement in Trentino

The social and economic difficulties experienced by many alpine areas after the Second World War were a major stimulus for the development of cooperative societies in the province as social and productive organisations. With a population of half a million inhabitants, Trentino has more than 227 thousand cooperative society members.

The widespread presence of cooperative societies throughout the province makes Trentino a genuine "cooperative district" with few analogies around the world. The turnover of Trentino cooperative societies, which guarantee stable employment to more than 15,000 people, is 2 billion euro, while overall assets amount to 2.4 billion euro. The statistics illustrate the extent of the phenomenon: the market share of cooperative society businesses in the agriculture sector is almost 90%, while it stands at 60% in the credit sector (Casse Rurali), and 38% in terms of consumption (Famiglie Cooperative). The turnover of cooperative societies exceeds 900 million euro.

The world of volunteer organisations is linked to this movement, with more than 5,000 associations and between 40,000 and 50,000 volunteers active in fields ranging from social care to blood donation, health, first aid, environmental protection, sport and culture.

Investing in social capital 

227,000  cooperative society members
15,000 people employed
270 volunteer organisation involved in international cooperation
0.25% of the  Provincial GDP is the fixed quota of the public budget destined for cooperation and development

[Source: Statistics office of the Autonomous Province of Trento]