PETER Fleming from Timoleague, chairman of Barryroe Co-op, is the new chairman of the ICOS (the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) National Dairy Committee.
He succeeds Jerry Long, following Mr Long’s election as ICOS president in June.
Mr Fleming is a dairy farmer and has been chairman of Barryroe Co-op since 2012 and has been on the board of Carbery from 2014, serving most recently as its chairman. He is also a member of the board of Ornua.
He previously served as chairman of the Munster Cattle Breeding Group from 2016-17 and as a board member of ICBF. He is currently a board member of Shinagh Estates.
The ICOS Dairy Committee is responsible for the formulation of policy positions within ICOS affecting the Irish dairy sector.
The committee consists of board representatives from the dairy processing and non-processing co-operatives. Mr Fleming represents Ornua Co-operative Limited on the ICOS Dairy Committee.
Mr Fleming said: ‘I’m honoured to be elected chairman of the ICOS Dairy Committee and I look forward to working with the members of ICOS and industry stakeholders to develop new thinking and solutions for the key issues facing the Irish dairy sector.
‘The dairy sector is a very vibrant and valuable contributor to the Irish and rural economy.
‘However, it is facing a number of key challenges relating to the environment, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, income volatility, CAP reform and access to skilled labour.’
Mr Fleming added: ‘Despite these significant issues, I am very confident that the Irish dairy sector, underpinned by the co-operative model, can help milk suppliers and farm families to respond positively to these challenges.’
ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14bn, with 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.