Thats Farming will be broadcasting live from the the ICOS confernece tommorow with live video coming across our social media streams.
The conference features a top line-up of Irish and international speakers including Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, T.D.; The Canadian Ambassador, Kevin Vickers; US Department of Agriculture Rural Sociologist, Tom Gray; Corporate Enforcement Director Ian Drennan and FBD CEO Fiona Muldoon, among other top speakers.
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.
The 40th ICOS National Conference is being held in conjunction with The Plunkett Institute for Co-operative Governance, which is dedicated to the establishment and best practice of co-operative governance in Ireland. The Institute’s principal focus is on the elected members of Boards of ICOS Co-operatives, and Board officers. In addition to keynote speakers, the following themes will be addressed in 3 panel discussions. A full speaker list (including panellists) is appended separately to this release.
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 represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14 billion, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.