Joint management for the purpose of meeting common needs has been the concept of cooperativeness for over 100 years. In Poland, it developed in various sectors of the economy, with uneven intensity. It appeared in the food production sectors, in particular in the dairy industry, at quite an early stage. After World War II, due to inclusion of Poland into the block of socialist states, the concept of cooperativeness was strongly perverted, as it was identified with the process of collectivization of agriculture, and only political prerequisites laid the foundations for such a process. Only after year 1989 possibilities of giving the proper role to the concept of cooperativeness appeared. Currently, this role is reinforced along with the growing care for protection of the producer, consumer and the environment. The aim of the article is to determine the current place of cooperativeness in the Polish food production system as well as to indicate the new conditions reinforcing its role. The study adopts a foundation that cooperativeness is the form of conducting business operations, which allows reconciling often contrary interests of the producer, consumer and the environment in an ever more competitive and global world.