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John Brosnan, Bioeconomy Executive

ICOS, the policy and representative body for the co-operative sector, has invited farmers nationwide to take part in a survey around challenges and opportunities for Irish agriculture, relating mainly to sustainability and the bioeconomy.  The research is funded by the Golden Jubilee Trust, the philanthropic trust whose objective is to improve and develop all aspects of Irish agricultural and rural life.

All farmers from all sectors and all farm sizes are invited to take part.  The survey is online, entirely confidential and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Farmers can also simply visit the news section of the ICOS website to take part, or can use this direct link here below:

SURVEY:  https://questionpro.eu/t/AB3uw4GZB3vYMW?custom1=2

The research project follows from a recent gathering of co-operative industry leaders and environmental experts at an initial national ‘bioeconomy workshop’, organised by ICOS, which discussed the progress already being achieved by the industry and the potential for this to be further accelerated.  From that meeting, ICOS is establishing a ‘co-operative framework’ for Irish co-operatives to share information and best practice on sustainability and the bioeconomy.  The results of the research will be combined with the recommendations of the national bioeconomy workshop and the co-operative framework intended to drive strategy and a series of measures that ICOS will deliver in 2023 and onwards.

John Brosnan, Bioeconomy Executive of ICOS said, “It’s essential for us to hear directly from farmers in every community across Ireland so that their views can be included in our future co-operative processes aimed at ensuring the sustainability of Irish agriculture now and for the future.  This forms part of our larger research programme into farmer attitudes and intentions on sustainability measures and the bioeconomy generally which has been supported by the Golden Jubilee Trust. Implementing projects centred around bioeconomy principles will allow for greater value to be unlocked from the food, feed, fibres, chemicals, fuels and energy that we can derive from our land, crops and natural resources. What was once considered a ‘waste’ is now a valuable by-product or co-product. By moving towards new business models, the ‘win-win’ of helping climate, biodiversity and water quality can be coupled with greater economic return and sustainability for farmers and agriculture in general.”

ICOS currently represents 130 co-operative enterprises in Ireland, including dairy processing co-operatives and co-operative livestock marts, with over 150,000 individual members, a combined turnover of €14 billion and employing more than 12,000 people.