Cooperatives and regional development: a comparative analysis between France and Croatia

Project Leaders:

Associate prof. Aleksandar Lukić, PhD (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography)

Prof. Lydia Coudroy de Lille, PhD (UMR CNRS 5600 Environment Ville Société, Université Jean Moulin Lyon)

Duration of the project:

1.1.2015. - 31.12.2017.


The fundamental scientific goal of the project is the identification and comparative analysis of the role of agricultural cooperatives in enhancing the dynamics of regional growth in France and Croatia. The specific goal of research is the analysis of the influence of agricultural cooperatives in two mostly rural regions polarised around the metropolitan areas of Lyon (Rhône-Alpes region) and Zagreb (Central Croatia).

Based on the work plan, during the first year of the project, two joint field studies were organised. The first field study was conducted in Croatia, from 19 to 25 April 2015. On the French side, Prof. Lydia Coudroy de Lille, Dr. Emmanuelle Boulineau, Clément Corbineau and Dr. Georgette Zrinscak (participating in both studies) took part in the research. Participants on the Croatian side were Professor Dr. Dane Pejnović, Assistant Professor Dr. Aleksandar Lukić, and Dr. Petra Radeljak Kaufmann. The field work included touring of the areas and conducting semi-structured interviews of six agricultural cooperatives in the greater Zagreb surroundings (cooperatives: Proizvodi sela-Zaprešić, Zagorski puran-Krapina, Plešivica- Jastrebarsko, Žumberak-Kostanjevac, Dobra ekonomija-Vukomerić, Varaždinsko povrće-Varaždin). 

The second field study was conducted in France from 27 June to 5 July 2015. Analogous to the Croatian example, the study included a tour of and conducting semi-structured interviews in agricultural cooperatives in the greater Lyon area (Coop Agricole Fromagerie De Drom-Drom, Fruitière Des Coteaux de Seille -Bourg en Bresse, Cave de Lugny- Mâconais, Wine coop in Beaujolais- Beaujolais, La Musette de Valentine- Bourg-lès-Valence, Jardin'Envie- Bourg-lès-Valence). All interviews were recorded and transcribed. After the field study, a joint meeting was organised to prepare the work plan for the project continuation in the second year. In the second year, all collaborators from the Croatian side participated in a working meeting in Lyon and Marseille, when detailed concepts for three scientific papers were discussed and defined.

Work on the project resulted in the publication of two scientific papers, and part of the project results was presented at the scientific conference in France. Further, excellent cooperation with the Croatian Cooperative Entrepreneurship Centre was established, and following publication of the scientific papers, it is possible that the results will be disseminated to the general public and agricultural cooperatives.