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ICOS is the sole Irish representative member of COGECA, an umbrella body for co-operatives in the EU.

The ICOS Brussels office provides the link between ICOS and COGECA. COGECA provides ICOS with a forum to meets its counterparts from the other member states of the European Union, to develop common positions and to lobby collectively in Brussels for co-operatives in Europe.

COGECA currently represents the general and specific interests of some 40,000 farmers’ co-operatives employing some 660,000 people and with a global annual turnover in excess of €300 billion euros throughout the enlarged Europe.

COGECA is an influential voice in Brussels, COGECA has been recognised by the European Institutions as the main representative body and indeed the spokesman for the entire agricultural and fisheries co-operative sector.

In 1962 COPA (the representative body for European farmers) merged COGECA to form Copa-Cogeca.  The organisation now is the umbrella group for 76 farming and co-operative organisations from across all the EU member states.