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Cooperative Union of Slovenia
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The Cooperative Farmer's Enterprise
The Heratage of SCM
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THE HERATAGE OF SLOVENIAN COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT

Cooperative movement in Slovenia began in the second half of the nineteenth century. It first appeared in cheese factories on the area of Tolmin and Bohinj. Later they turned into very successful dairy cooperatives. In 1872 the first credit union was established in Ljutomer. Brothers Jože and Mihael Vošnjak played a key role in the history of Slovenian cooperative movement. The first cooperative union, called Zveza slovenskih posojilnic (the union of Slovenian loan banks), was established in Celje on the initiative of engineer Mihael Vošnjak. The merits for cooperatives becoming a mass movement go to dr. Janez Evangelist Krek.

Agricultural crisis rose at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of twentieth century. Farmers started joining credit unions, which were established according to principles of Raiffeisen. Cooperative movement was gaining its social nature. Many business and auditing cooperative unions were established during that time, including the Cooperative union in Ljubljana (1903). The development of the cooperative movement was brought to a standstill after the First World War due to a new government system, the post-war inflation, unfavourable monetary conditions, and the loss of markets. However, the cooperative movement becomes a pillar of the state economic sector after the Second World War. In 1946 the cooperative legal constitution was adopted and the agrarian reform was carried out. The agricultural collectivization with agricultural cooperatives was not successful in the second half of the twentieth century. After long decades, the Cooperative Union of Slovenia was once more established by agricultural and forestry cooperative organizations in 1972. In 1992 the cooperative legislation was adopted. It laid down the procedures of repayment of cooperative assets and the participation of cooperatives in food processing industry. The first amendment to the legislation was carried out in 1993, another followed in 2007. The law amendment in 2009 introduced the European cooperative into the Slovenian legal order and abolished cooperative revision. It also brought novelties following the example of the European cooperative.

The tradition of the cooperative movement in Slovenia is more than 140 years old. During this period the cooperatives proved to be efficient organizations. They link the producers on the market, supply the consumers, and preserve the cultivated and populated countryside. Cooperatives catalyze the overall development of the countryside.