Open Access

Performance and causes of development problems among Latvian grain cooperatives


The research aimed to examine Latvian grain cooperatives in terms of their performance and causes of development problems. The research employed several approaches, including a monographic method, induction and deduction, comparison, graphical method, statistical analysis, cause and consequence analysis and a sociological research method in the form of structured expert survey and interviews. The research examined the theory on cooperative development in Latvia and the world, analysed the Latvian grain production industry and made a statistical analysis of the performance of grain cooperatives. The total output of cereals was affected by the total area cropped with cereals, which was proved by the correlation coefficient r = 0.90. An increase in the area used for cereals leads to an increase in the total cereal output. The correlation coefficient showed a strong relationship between independent and dependent variables. Structured interviews with experts allowed the authors to identify the factors that hinder the development of grain cooperatives in Latvia. The industry experts identified the technological factor, i.e., poorly developed agricultural processing. As possible causes of the previously identified problem, experts identified a lack of financial resources, the unclear market situation, workforce problems, additional costs, and a lack of initiative in identifying new opportunities. The expert method helped to identify the most significant problem for the development of Latvian grain cooperatives and the underlying causes. The research allows drawing the attention of policymakers to the main problem regarding the development of grain cooperatives, namely, the technological factor of underdeveloped grain processing. The cooperatives did not own processing enterprises, which was mainly due to an unclear situation in the sales market.