Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 9 December 2016

'It may be cheaper to buy feed from a private company today, but it may not be tomorrow'

Published 08/11/2016 | 15:10

T.J. Flanagan, CEO of ICOS, Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers, Martin Keane, President of Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), and Ian Drennan, Director of Corporate Enforcement
T.J. Flanagan, CEO of ICOS, Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers, Martin Keane, President of Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), and Ian Drennan, Director of Corporate Enforcement

It is incumbent for co-op members to know their duties and responsibilities John McStay told the ICOS conference on Better Governance

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The partner at McStay Luby Chartered Accountants said that it was imperative that co-ops operate in an open and transparent manner and that "secret sessions" should not take place and members should put their co-op first not their own personal interests.

He also said that members should support their own co-op even if it's not always the cheapest option. "It may be cheaper to buy your feed from a private company today, but it may not be tomorrow if you don't support the co-op."

Co-op directors were advised of their key responsibilities in an intensely competitive, volatile and globalised environment at the 40th ICOS conference.

Martin Keane, President of ICOS, the sector must continue to promote a strategic vision and clear leadership in the interests of co-operative members. 

“Strategy formulation underpinned by strong corporate governance, compliance and communications are key functions and responsibilities which co-operative Board members need to promote as the leaders of their industry.

“Irish co-operatives are working in an intensely competitive, volatile and globalised marketplace. While they have been well served by elected farmer directors to date, the increasing complexity of operations including the competitive environment and regulation necessitates a continual focus on skills development to ensure that Boards can meet all of their responsibilities.”

Both McStay and Keane said that while farmer directors can’t be expected to be experts across the regulatory framework on the day they are elected or assume the role, they do become responsible. Keane said that ICOS must ensure they are familiar with and can discharge those responsibilities.

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"This is essential to enable their co-ops to compete effectively with public and private companies who populate their boards with professional independent directors."

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