The Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e. V. (DGRV – German Co-operative and Raiffeisen Confederation – reg. assoc.) is both the apex and auditing association of the German co-operative organisation. We work in the tradition of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen and Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch. The co-operative link-up group is by far the largest economic organisation in Germany in terms of members, with over 20 million members. Of these, 3.8 million are members of housing co-operatives which are not organised under the umbrella of the DGRV.
Co-operatives are widespread in Germany. Almost every farmer is a member of one or more co-operatives. 60% of all craftsmen, 75% of all retail traders, 90% of all bakers and butchers and over 65% of all self-employed tax advisors are members of a co-operative. The co-operative organisation employs around 600,000 people throughout Germany and provides extensive training programmes for approximately 35,000.
The Confederation's purpose is to promote and represent the mutual interests of its members and their affiliated co-operative institutions. As a legally registered auditing association, the DGRV can carry out all audits of its regional and national centres, special institutes and federations. As a co-operating partner of other institutions at home and abroad, it promotes cooperative development primarily in third world countries, but also in Central and Eastern Europe.