Social value concept is becoming more and more known among agricultural cooperatives in Latvia. On July 26, 2022, Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, in cooperation with the Association of Latvian Agricultural Cooperatives, held a focus group to strengthen the understanding of social value concept and benefits to stakeholders. The focus group included 13 participants representing the dairy, beef and horticulture sectors.

The focus group set the following goals:

  • Cooperation in improving the methodology of the AgriCoopValue project;
  • Raising the prestige of Latvian agricultural cooperation in the long term;
  • Strengthening the concept of data-based social value in Latvia;
  • Defining measurable indicators for determining the social value of cooperatives.

As part of the focus group, the work took place in the overall working group as well as in three sub-groups to identify the unique situation of the dairy, beef production and horticulture sectors. Participants in the sub-group discussion defined beneficiaries, variables in which cooperative societies create value for stakeholders, indicators that can be used to measure the value created by a cooperative, and ideas on how cooperatives can increase the value they provide to stakeholders.

Focus group participants identified more than:

  • 15 different stakeholders groups;
  • 90 variables in which stakeholders receive value;
  • 30 indicator ideas that can be used to measure the social value provided by cooperative societies;
  • 6 ideas on how cooperatives can increase the value they currently provide to stakeholders.