The Modalities of Territorial Embeddedness of French Cooperative Groups

  • Maryline FilippiEmail author
  • Olivier Frey
  • André Torre


The article aims to analyse the modalities followed by French cooperative groups seeking to implement a territorial embeddedness process. It attempts to clarify issues relating to the significance of this territorial dimension along with cooperative groups’ strategies and behaviour. The text starts with a brief literature review elucidating the notion of territorial embeddedness and distinguishing it from the territorial circumscription, while presenting the specificities of this concept for cooperatives. It then processes national statistics databases and comes up with a spatial topology of French cooperative groups. The second section offers a set of indicators that can be used to measure and test territorial embeddedness, validated by a survey of 15 of France’s leading agricultural cooperative groups. We demonstrate that, along with geographic location and statutory perimeter of action, territorial embeddedness also reflects three other main criteria, to wit: where the agricultural cooperative runs its operations; where its members are located; and where they receive the outputs and services that they are offered. There is no doubt that cooperative groups construct territorial embeddedness on the basis of a joint activation of relationships with their members – but it is just as clear that this construction varies depending on the extent of a group’s integration into particular branches and markets.


Cooperative Group Geographical Proximity Equity Capital Corporate Group Commercial Company 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Bordeaux, ENITA Bordeaux, USC GAIA INRA-SADGradignanFrance
  2. 2.Proximités UMR SADAPT, INRA/AgroparistechParisFrance

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