Survey on Financing of Co-operatives

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The objective of this survey is to provide data on the challenges and issues that co-operatives in Canada face in securing financing, as well as other data on the characteristics of these organizations.


This survey gathers information about the amount and types of financing available to co-operatives, as well as the challenges co-operatives face in obtaining this financing. This will allow Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Human Resources and Social Development Canada to assess the state of the co-operative sector in Canada and its needs in terms of government policies or programs.

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The frame provided to us from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada included all non-financial co-operatives operating in Canada, with the exception of housing co-operatives and feeder financing co-operatives. Housing co-operatives were excluded from the survey because housing co-operatives are quite different from other types of co-operatives, to the extent that including them in the survey would have skewed the results. Similarly, feeder financing co-operatives exist primarily to provide financing to other co-operatives, and as such including them in the survey would have skewed the results.

Instrument design

The questionnaire used for the Survey on Financing of Co-operatives, 2007 was based on the questionnaire used for the Survey on Financing of Small and Medium Enterprises, 2007. The questionnaire content was developed jointly by AAFC, HRSDC and SC. The Survey on Financing of Co-operatives, 2007 was conducted using a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI).

The CATI application was developed by specialists, and tested by both subject matter and operational staff.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The sample was designed to provide estimates of population proportions for the following domains of interest:

. Estimates by Region with a +/- 8% margin of error
. Estimates by Co-operative Subgroup with a +/- 8% margin of error, and
. Estimates by Co-operative Type with a +/- 8% margin of error.

In order to satisfy these requirements, a total sample size of 1,400 drawn under a stratified simple random sampling design was determined to be sufficient (taking into account a response rate of 60%). It is important to note that this sample size is calculated based only on one-dimensional domains and would not guarantee reliable estimates at more detailed levels or for any other combinations of the above domains (e.g. Province by Co-op Subgroup). In the end, the client provided funding for a total of 1,800 units which was the size of the sample selected.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Information for this survey is collected using a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI). The CATI interview consists of a questionnaire that will last on average no more than fifteen (15) minutes.

The CATI system developed for this survey includes on-line edits to maximize data quality and allow interviewers to correct any problems with the information provided by the respondent during the initial interview. Such edits ensure that, for example, questions with multiple response categories that only demand one response receive only one response.

A maximum of five (5) attempts will be made to conduct an interview with each co-operative in the sample.

Collection is undertaken by the Operations and Integration Division (OID) of Statistics Canada.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

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