The Seikatsu Club Consumer Cooperative Union

In most industrialized countries, consumer cooperatives are relatively small in scale, short in lifespan and marginal in the market, but in Japan, consumer cooperatives are significant participants in the economic, political and social life. There are approximately 600 consumer co-operatives with 22,000,000 members in Japan, making up almost 20% of the total population of 127,000,000. It is thus unsurprising that the largest consumer cooperatives in the world appear in Japan. IThe Kobe Coop, established before the Second World War, has experienced sustained growth since then. Today, with 1.2 million membership, Kobe occupies the position of the largest consumer cooperative in the world. The Japanese experience is a valuable case study for the rise of non-capitalist forms of enterprises.

The Seikatsu Club is one of the second largest consumer cooperative in Japan.It is an association of 29 consumer co-operatives in 19 administrative divisions (prefectures) of Japan. By 2007, its membership has reached 301,761, most of whom are women. With the goal of ensuring healthy and environmentally-friendly food supply, the coop works to integrate the production, purchasing, distribution, and inspection of food.





Origin of the Seikatsu Club

Structure of Seikatsu

The Depot System

Advantages and Challenges




Official site of Seikatsu

Seikatsu Club Consumer Cooperative Union,, last accessed on 16th May 2011



Provider: Julie Matthaei

Date created: 16/05/2011

Date modified: 16/05/2011