CO-OP Champions learning & leadership is a boutique consultancy firm  based in The Netherlands, focused on cooperative development and with considerable international experience especially in food and agribusiness.

elcome and nice to meet you! My name is Onno van Bekkum and I have been in the field of cooperatives since the early nineties. I’ve graduated from Wageningen University in december 1993, worked for Rabobank a number of years and got my PhD from Nyenrode Business University in 2001. For many years I’ve been a researcher and consultant on food & agribusiness cooperatives in The Netherlands, the EU and worldwide. I have toured to meet cooperatives in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA, Uganda and Singapore.

I left from academia at the end of 2009 to dedicate to the cooperative mission in practice, offering presentations and training courses to Board members and executives, designing capital and governance structures and sharing the learnings from one co-op and country to another basically. Working on probably the most comprehensive cooperative database worldwide for many years, I’ve aspired to gain a deep understanding of the cooperative lifecycle and why it is that some cooperatives end up going public, get taken over by private equity or fall into the hands of industry competitors—while others appear tobe able continue to expand and become cooperative ‘champions’? I’ll be happy to exchange learnings with you.

With my wife and our two daughters in their studies visiting, I live an hour south of Amsterdam. If you’re ever in the area, please drop by for a no doubt mutually enlightening conversation about cooperatives.

Our home overlooks the river Maas with beautiful views all year long. Some photos I’ve shared on this website (down below)—I hope you’ll enjoy!

Please feel free to get in touch; we’ve learnt these Covid days that this has become very easy. Just send me a link!

What can we do for you?

Workshop Cooperative Strategy


Research assignment: Comparative cooperatives


Study tour: Cooperatives in The Netherlands


Towards a Just, Cooperative Economic and Social Order — Prospects of a Rhinish Sub-sovereign Area-banking System in the Post-Covid Era (Slides; Justice Conference, 4 april 2021)

Cooperative Strategy & Internationalization - Presentation at the Pellervo Seminar (Helsinki, 30 January 2018)

Las 100 Principales Cooperatives Agroalimentarias del Mundo (With translation: The World's 100 Largest Agricultural Cooperatives in the World); in: Mediterraneo Economico, August 2013

Fonterra's 2nd vote on Trading Among Farmers (TAF): A Second Opinion, Report commissioned by New Zealand 'Our Co-op' dairy farmers, June 2012