The Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd. (ICOS) has announced that the Ambassador of Canada will give a keynote address at the 40th ICOS National Conference on November 8th.
The conference’s theme is Better Governance for Better Co-operatives, and will examine the issue in-depth. The Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed, a sociologist from the US Department of Agriculture, the CEO of FBD and more will be in attendance at the conference in Dublin’s Convention Centre.
The conference is organised in conjunction with the Plunkett Institute, and it aims to ‘put spotlight on better compliance, better strategy and better communications for co-operatives’.
The ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland, and according to the organistion, the identification of new strategies and operational practices to enhance corporate governance in support of future developments by Irish co-operatives will be addressed.
“Co-operative leaders from all over Ireland, including the main dairy processing co-operatives and national co-operative livestock marts, will attend the event. To register, see www.icos.ie for details.” explains a recent press release from ICOS.
The Canadian Ambassador who will speak at the conference is Kevin Vickers; while the US Department of Agriculture Rural Sociologist is Tom Gray.
According to the ICOS, Irish co-operatives operate in an intensely competitive, volatile and globalised marketplace. As the sector pursues further expansion opportunities and also copes with continuing fallout from the Brexit decision, it must continue to promote a strategic vision and clear leadership in the interests of co-operative members. Strategy formulation, corporate governance, compliance and communications are key factors and responsibilities which Co-operative Board members need to be aware of as the leaders of their industry, says the ICOS.
You can read the three aims of the conference below:
Better Compliance - The Board members of agricultural and rural co-operatives need to be fully familiar with their corporate responsibilities as directors. This panel will highlight the context and challenges for directors in fulfilling their duties and adhering to the laws that govern their sectors. Chaired by Dearbhail McDonald, Group Business Editor of Independent News and Media, it will be addressed by John McStay of McStay Luby (specialising in Corporate Recovery, Insolvency and Forensic Accounting) and panellists will include Ian Drennan, Director of Corporate Enforcement; James Doyle, Legal & Governance Executive, ICOS and Michael Parsons, Director, Kilkenny Co-operative Livestock Mart.
Better Strategy - This strand of the conference will explore what a strategy actually is and the components necessary for an effective strategy to be created. It will cover case studies of companies or organisations where strategy did or didn’t work, including the technical elements of a strategy and the importance of Board participation in strategy planning and development. Chaired by Vincent Wall, Business Editor of Newstalk, it will be addressed by Professor Pat Gibbons, UCD Smurfit School of Business and panellists will include Gerard Brickley, CEO, Bandon Co-operative Society; Dr Pat Enright, University College Cork; Pat Maher, Director, Centenary Thurles Co-operative Society and Fiona Muldoon, CEO, FBD.
Better Communications - The profile of agricultural and rural co-operatives has changed greatly in Ireland in recent years including several amalgamations and restructurings. This panel will explore the role of communications as a key element of strategy including change management and the maintenance of stakeholder loyalty and participation in the co-operative. Chaired by public affairs expert Gerard Howlin, it will be addressed by Tom Gray, Rural Sociologist, USDA with panellists including Alan Jagoe, President, CEJA - European Young Farmers Organisation; James Graham, CEO, Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society and Liam Herlihy, Former Chairman, Glanbia.
ICOS CEO T.J. Flanagan said, “Co-operatives operate in an increasingly competitive market environment. It’s essential that they have strategies in place to help them to achieve their desired market position, backed up by implementation plans which drive their business growth for the long term sustainable benefit of their members.”
“Board members of co-operatives are dedicated people who have a very significant contribution to make in the corporate direction of their business. This requires knowledge and awareness of best practice corporate governance principles including compliance and communications as a catalyst for co-operative success, and these are the specific issues which the ICOS National Conference will address,” added Flanagan.