This is a promotional article for the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF).
Half a century ago, Korea had GDP per capita lower than the least developed countries in the world.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) was thus established in 1961 to help eradicate poverty and improve the socio-economic status of Korea’s farming community. The organization went on to be vital to the development and modernization of the agricultural sector and the Korean state.
Now an economic and cultural powerhouse, Korea is a prominent member of the G20 group of nations. Many young people in Asia and all over the world have been swept up by the so-called “Korean Wave” and have become fans of the country’s pop culture.
In much the same way, NACF has grown to become a successful cooperative that hundreds of professionals from agricultural businesses around the world look to every year. According to the International Cooperative Alliance’s 2011 Global 300 project, NACF was ranked as the ninth largest cooperative and the second largest agricultural cooperative in the world.
NACF is a multi-purpose cooperative that manages four main business units: agricultural marketing and supply; livestock marketing and supply; cooperative banking; and extension and support services. As of the end of 2013, NACF serves its members and customers through 25 subsidiaries and three affiliate organizations. It represents more than 2.4 million individual farmers—more than 80 percent of Korea’s farming population.
Agricultural marketing and supply is the most essential service offered by NACF because it directly ensures higher returns and benefits for member farmers. In both production and consumption and farm supply services, about half of Korea’s agriculture sector products are provided via NACF and its member cooperatives.
NACF’s livestock marketing and supply business promotes resilience and sustainable growth in Korea’s livestock sector. It focuses on the international competitiveness of domestic livestock producers by improving breeding stock, reducing the input costs of livestock production and supporting the distribution of livestock products.
▲ Photo courtesy NACF
The cooperative banking business of NACF and its member cooperatives serves a majority of the Korean population. Such an extensive client base is a result of its nationwide network of branches and the diversity of its banking services, which include private, retail and corporate accounts, insurance, credit cards, and mutual credit.
NACF’s Extension and Support Services unit conducts a variety of activities that promote the interests and rights of member farmers as well as the welfare and culture of rural communities to improve the quality of life for farmers and other rural residents. It also engages in the research and development of new technologies in the agricultural and rural development sectors, and its exchange programs between urban and rural communities contribute to the balanced development of the national economy.
In March 2012, in response to the internal and external Korean agricultural business environment, NACF established the Nonghyup Agribusiness Group and Nonghyup Financial Group. This restructuring seeks to facilitate sustainable growth through greater efficiency and specialization.
Foreign Trade Agreements (FTAs) between Korea and other major economies, such as the USA, the European Union and China, have been implemented or are under negotiation. These threaten the economic survival of Korea’s farmers. Moreover, the number of farmers is decreasing, and farmers’ groups are at a disadvantage when negotiating prices with powerful new supermarket giants.
Cooperation with its member cooperatives, subsidiaries and holding companies has been of critical importance for NACF when embarking on new business ventures.
A global cooperative for mutual growth is NACF’s vision for the future. It is based on the values of ethical management, collaboration, innovation, environmentalism and social responsibility.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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