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The 42nd ICOS National Conference, sponsored by FBD insurance will be held in the Kilashee Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare on Thursday, 8th November 2018.

The theme for this year’s conference is “De-risking Co-operative Business”. Key note addresses will be provided by Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD, John Jordan, CEO of Ornua and Guy Smith, Deputy President of the NFU.

The conference will include a number of workshops for co-op directors including one addressing the environmental sustainability risks arising from obligations to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from agriculture and to improve water quality standards. The workshop will be chaired by Larry O’Connell from the National Economic and Social Council, with presentations from Jack Nolan from the Department of Agriculture and Frank O’Mara from Teagasc.

Separately, Kelvin Jackson, a former director of Murray Goulburn, Bonlac Foods and Dairy Australia will discuss recent developments in the Australian dairy industry, which is now predominately owned by private companies. He will discuss the strategic decisions, which ultimately resulted in the sale of Murray Goulburn Co-op earlier this year to a privately-owned Canadian company.

Finally, the conference will discuss the implications and lessons from the extreme weather events of 2017-18, resulting in a very challenging period for farmers and co-ops with speakers from Met Eireann, Teagasc and ADM Ireland.

Bookings can be made online at:


Eamonn Farrell

Agri Food Policy Executive