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In a co-operative business forum held in Brussels and organised by COGECA, ICOS President, Martin Keane was invited to give a keynote presentation on the importance of governance from a dairy co-operative enterprise perspective.

In a very well received and extensive intervention, Keane outlined the absolute and critical importance of good governance to the success of co-operative enterprise.

For Keane the issue was at ‘the heart and motor’ of all successful co-operatives.


These sentiments were echoed by COGECA president Christian Pees who outlined his views on the matter;

“Co-operatives are a business model with specific values, which form part of the global economy. Co-operatives defend the interests of their members, which is exactly why they were created. Business governance is a multi-faceted model that has evolved over the course of time”

Pees continued to argue about the importance of governance saying; “Agri-co-operatives have also become more professional in response to market pressures and their governance structures have adapted accordingly. Training for co-operative executives is therefore essential, so that members can still pull the strings of their own co-operative. The size of a co-operative has nothing to do with the quality of its governance.”

By Conor Mulvihill

European Affairs Executive