Henning Otte Hansen

Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen



Agricultural cooperatives in the Western world have proven to be efficient in many cases. Therefore, it is likely that other countries with a less developed agricultural industry can learn from the experiences, both good and bad, of Western countries.

A number of drivers behind the formation and development of cooperatives which are significant for the spreading and transfer of cooperative ownership can be identified. Agriculture and the food industry have several chronic challenges, but cooperative ownership can, to a large extent, solve these problems, while at the same time industrial and socio-economic benefits can, potentially, be achieved.

Based on these factors and assessments and input from stakeholders in countries planning a stronger agricultural cooperative industry, a number of opportunities and barriers have been identified with regard to the transfer of cooperative ownership in agriculture.

To a certain extent, experience from cooperative companies in the Western world can be applied to the rest of the world. However, the cooperative model must be adapted to the specific situation in each country. It is rarely possible to transfer experience directly from, for example, Danish cooperatives to countries with a less developed cooperative industry. There are also often a number of economic, cultural, and organisational barriers that need to be overcome.


Henning Otte Hansen is senior advisor at the Department of Food and Resource Economics at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Henning has a Ph.D. in agricultural policy, and master degrees in both agricultural economics and business economics. He has worked 20 years in agricultural organisations and companies. He has now returned to the academic and scientific field, and he is now doing research and teaching. He mainly works with food economics, agro and food companies and food markets. He has written 12 books – among others “Food Econimics – industry and markets” from Routledge and recently a book about strategic challenges in agro and food companies. He has written more than 500 papers and articles and has held more than 600 presentations.