We are a dedicated group of people with a cooperative identity forming a business group that is profitable, competitive and enterprising, capable of successfully operating in global markets. Our organisation uses democratic methods in its corporate organisation, and its aims are employment, the personal and professional advancement of its workers, and the development of its community.
Organisationally, MONDRAGON is divided into four areas: Finance, Industry, Retail and Knowledge. It currently consists of 95 separate, self-governing cooperatives, around 80,000 people and 14 R&D centres, occupying first place in the Basque business ranking and tenth in Spain.
BASQUE BUSINESS RANKING
SALES IN MORE THAN
MONDRAGON is the leading business project in the Basque Country and one of the largest corporations in Spain. It operates throughout the world, with 141 production plants in 37 countries, commercial business in 53, and sales in more than 150.
People in cooperation
MONDRAGON is a cooperative association and always has been. This hallmark is one of its strengths and one of the reasons for its success. One of MONDRAGON’s specific traits has been its collective approach, combining the benefits of consensus with the cooperatives’ human dimension, creating a robust and supportive cooperative project.
A socioeconomic business project deeply rooted in Basque culture, created by and for people.
Committed to a sustainable society, greater competitiveness and customer satisfaction, with the remit to create wealth and transform society through business development and employment.
It is driven by a commitment to solidarity, applying democratic methods in its organisation and management.
It boosts people’s engagement and involvement in the management, performance and ownership of its companies.
MONDRAGON is Cooperation A cooperative socioeconomic project, with dedicated people working in global companies that are profitable, competitive and enterprising, acknowledged for their human values, social impact and competitiveness.
Cooperation: Owners and protagonists.
Participation: Grassroots management.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Fair distribution of wealth.
Innovation: Continuous renewal
Furthermore, based on the Cooperative Principles and its own experience, MONDRAGON nurtures the values of self-motivation and shared responsibility, intercooperation, social transformation and good corporate governance practices.
1. Open Membership
MONDRAGON is open to anyone who accepts our Principles.
2. Democratic organisation
A one person, one vote system for election of the cooperative’s governing bodies and for deciding on the most important issues.
3. Sovereignty of Labour
Profit is allocated on the basis of the work contributed by each member in order to achieve this profit.
4. Instrumental and subordinated nature of capital
The capital factor is a necessary resource, but it does not confer the right to vote and its stake in the profit is limited and subordinated to labour.
5. Participation in the management
People’s responsible involvement in managing the business.
6. Wage solidarity
In accordance with the cooperative’s real possibilities, and equitable at an internal and external level and for MONDRAGON.
As a mechanism for solidarity between cooperatives and business efficiency.
8. Social transformation
Commitment to the supportive, sustainable development of our local area.
In solidarity with the promoters of economic democracy within the context of the Social Economy, fully embracing the goals of the international cooperative movement.
Promoting people and the cooperative culture, allocating human and financial resources to the cooperative and professional Education of the members and of young people in general.
Our way of doing business, focused on people and committed to society, indicates the ethical guidelines of our conduct.
The MONDRAGON Corporate Center has established the codes of behavior that should guide the daily work of its people in relation to the different stakeholders. Our code of ethics focuses on aspects that are collected in the following document.
A future that we built starting from our history. Let us now travel back through our Experience’s major milestones. A year-by-year chronicle of the main corporate events that have shaped the MONDRAGON project.
In 1955, José María Arizmendiarrieta was able to encourage a group of young people to leave the factories where they were working to create their own company the based on the principle of the workers’ democracy. And a year later, on 14 April 1956, Arizmendiarrieta gave his blessing to the foundation stone of ULGOR, which constituted the first step towards the cooperativist movement.
Due to an order by the Ministry of Employment, cooperativist members were excluded from the General Social Security System, which gave rise to the creation of what is today Lagun Aro Voluntary Mutual Benefit Organisation. Launch of the magazine Cooperación, which would later become known as T.U. (Trabajo and Union) [Work and Union] and finally T.U. Lankide. The opening of the first branch of Caja Laboral to the public in a small premises on calle Ferrerías de Arrasate/Mondragón.
In just five years, the Professional School went from having 300 to more than 1,000 students. Opening of the first branch of Caja Laboral, which in barely 2 years would quickly expand to surrounding towns. Arrasate marketed its products under the brand Tacique,which would later become known as Fagor Arrasate. The Caja Laboral Business Division is created, and resulting in the creation of the industrial cooperatives Copreci, Ederlan and Lana. A mutual movement begins between the cooperatives, shaping the future structures of the Experience. The first seed of what would become known as the Mondragon Cooperative Group, then Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, and finally MONDRAGON, as it is known today.
Arrasate launches the manufacture of transfer lines for refrigerators and washing machines. The cooperative markets the products under the brand Taci, which would later take the name of Fagor Arrasate. In 1964, there are 1,000 students studying at the Polytechnic Professional School and this year also sees the formal association of the cooperatives Irizar and Miba. In 1970, the Fagor-Mercier cycling team is revealed to the media with some of the most well-known cyclists of the international team.
Caja Laboral breaks the 100,000 savers mark, a symbolic figure and a faithful reflection of the rapid consolidation of our credit cooperative. In 1972, Eroski has 32 sales centres operational and has more than 17,000 consumer members. In 1975, Caja Laboral and several other cooperatives sign formal cooperation agreements with the Ikerlan Technological Research Centre.
José María Arizmendiarrieta passes away on 29 November 1976. The Group’s drive continues to be evident: sales increase, and there is the association of new cooperatives in Gipuzkoa, namely Latz, Kendu, Dikar, and the company based in Vitoria, Aurrenak. In 1979, a complicated year due to the generalised crisis, the exports of the MONDRAGON cooperatives surge spectacularly to reach nearly €53.5 million, representing an increase of more than 54%. The Urkide group comprising Danona, Egurko, Leioa and Zubiola is formed, all cooperatives from the county of Azpeitia-Zumaia.
1981 sees the celebration of 25 years since the beginning of the MONDRAGON cooperatives, a symbolic date on which to take stock: Caja Laboral, with 114 branches and Credit Resources totalling €383.56 million. The industrial cooperatives exceed €498.84 million. The cooperative Eroski, with a growth of 38%, stands at around €90 million. And 1985 sees the constitution of the Council of Groups of the cooperatives, the historic embryo of today’s MONDRAGON. And on 1 January 1986, the Treaty of Accession of Spain to the European Communities enters into force.
On 1 January 1986, the Treaty of Accession of Spain to the European Communities enters into force. In 1988, the total sales of the cooperatives of the Corporation exceed €1.2 billion for the first time, and exports exceed €240 million. The Ideko Research and Development Centre is formed. Danobat and Soraluce jointly obtain the largest export order in the machine-tool sector. In 1990, Fagor Arrasate obtain the largest order in a history of the machine-tool sector, more than €20 million for Volkswagen and Seat.
In 1991, General Motors names MONDRAGON as corporation of the year in Europe in Quality Service-Price. This same year, the participation of Orona and Urssa in the Universal Exposition of Seville 1992 and at the facilities of the Barcelona Olympics are of particular note. Fagor is selected as the official supplier at the Universal Exposition of Seville. In 1994, the Irizar Century is already on the roads in Great Britain. A year later, the company receives Spain’s Prince Philip Award for Professional Excellence and the Bus of the Year Award.
On 14 April 1997, the MONDRAGON server is born on the Internet. At the end of 1998, MONDRAGON represents 3.1% of employment, 4.5% of GDP and 9.3% of exports of the Basque Country economy. Of every €100 of wealth generated in the Basque Country, €4.50 is because of the activity of the Corporation’s companies. With the turn of the century, MONDRAGON has 54,000 employees, Irizar receives the European Award for Business Excellence, Caja Laboral reaches the figure of 300 branches in 2001 and continues its expansion with 26 new branches, mainly in Castile-Leon and Aragon.
Investment records a historic high in 2001 €872 million to increase and modernise production capacity, increase the level of internationalisation and consolidate the presence of the Corporation’s activities associated with new technologies. In 2002, the year that the Euro entered into circulation, the members of Lagun Aro stands at 27,202 people. In 2004, TRH King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía visit the MONDRAGON cooperatives on 9 December. Received by the Lehendakari, Juan José Ibarretxe, Jesús Catania, Chairman of the General Council of MCC, and other authorities, they lay the foundation stone of the Polo de Innovación Garaia.
In 2006, the international component of MONDRAGON multiplies: 63% turnover in Consumption Goods. In 2007, Eroski buys Caprabo. And Lagun Aro EPSV reaches new record figures: 30,476 members and 8,176 pensioners. The crisis requires significant adjustment, structural and strategic measures, all applied to improve the competitiveness of the cooperatives. Growth recovers and MONDRAGON closes 2010 with a profit of €178 million and an increase of 1,378 jobs. Total sales reach €13.989 million (+1.2%).
In 2011, Orona commences the construction of its new facilities in Galarreta (Hernani): the Orona Ideo Innovation City. Caja Laboral and Ipar Kutxa merge to form the new LABORAL Kutxa, one of the most solvent financial entities of the State. 2014 stands out for the efforts made by all the cooperatives to try to relocate the members affected by the Fagor Electrodomésticos Crisis. In 2015, the performance of the Industry area is noteworthy,which throughout the year manages to create somewhere in the region of more than 1,200 new jobs.
2020 – Present
2020 marked a before and after in the lives of each and all of us. The pandemic completely changed our lives and caused a decline in global economic activity. One of the preventive measures against the virus, the closure of businesses whose activity was not considered essential, directly affected MONDRAGON’s industrial companies. Despite this, we managed to maintain to a large extent our main figures for 2020. Likewise, from what happened in 2020, we also highlight the award given by the Chamber of Gipuzkoa to the Basque Culinary Center –Service Company of the year–, the conclusion of the events organized by Ausolan for its 50th anniversary and the start-up of the largest solar park in the Basque Autonomous Community, Ekian.