The advantages of establishing a cooperative are getting bigger in modern world, and recently also in Croatian conditions. Especially convenient is the way of organizing entrepreneurs with complementary business on the level of certain areas. Hence, a cooperative is a common shield under which small entrepreneurs present themselves in the market as strong and reliable partners and accomplish goals together, which would be much harder or impossible to achieve on their own. The cooperative is managed together with other cooperatives, it supports development of its own entrepreneurship, and the cooperative support and initiate development of other cooperatives. Small entrepreneurs present themselves in the market as strong and reliable partners and get included in economic flows faster and at much more favourable terms. Establishment, but also business is cheaper, because most of market, accounting and other administrative-technical or research function can be transferred to the cooperative. In order for cooperative to operate according to the basic principle of our publication “Cooperative for the 21st Century” it is necessary to:

  • Open possibility for existing cooperatives to organize its business in an entrepreneurial manner
  • Provide possibility of adjustment and entrance into international economic flows, based on cooperative principles, common in EU member countries.
  • Open possibility for faster development of cooperative food capacity, based on new technology.
  • Enable poorly populated and rural areas to participate more actively in cooperative development, especially those in organic food production, which would encourage population growth and development of poorly developed areas.
  • Through functioning of cooperative system, provide better education of cooperatives and cooperative managers, as well as effective control of cooperative principles implementation.
  • Preserve the cooperative assets, created through many generations, in order to found new cooperatives in those areas.

Individual actions of small farmer, craftsman or fisherman often present small economic segments to participate in the market on an equal and successful level. Besides, along their regular work, they are not able to efficiently and conveniently procure raw material, process and sell products, keep accounts and perform other activities. On the other hand, an individual entrepreneur has small production capacity and is not interesting to big partners in the market, but when the products of several cooperatives are jointly presented, he becomes more respectable business entity. The more cooperatives, the more quality products – therefore each cooperative is in the interest of accepting new members. The cooperative is a logistical support which unloads and provides valuable time to do what cooperative member does best. The cooperative regulations determine relationship between the cooperative and its members, and each member has the same right to vote and decide on the General Meeting. The cooperative is also a tool to fight “gray economy”. The cooperative member sells the products or provides the services legally through the cooperative, without being employed in the cooperative. That provides possibilities for people with low income, like retired persons or students, to avoid moonlighting and legally earn additional income, without losing their rights. This chapter wants to give an answer, in the simplest possible way, to the question:

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