On behalf of our members ICOS facilitates or manages a number of initiatives and companies for the benefit of our membership
ICOS Skillnet focuses on up-skilling and enhancing the skills of co-op staff and management through structured training. The network’s strategy to support the co-op and agri-business sectors in meeting their training and development needs to sustain competitiveness and growth for the sectors. The ICOS Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills
Irish Foundation for Co-operative Development – IFCD
The Irish Foundation for Co-operative Development (IFCD) was established by ICOS in 1978 to provide a practical response from the Irish co-operative movement to the challenges in developing countries. IFCD was intended as a channel through which to share the success and experience of Irish co-operatives working together in co-operatives and to those in developing countries to help themselves in the same way.
ICOS helps facilitate a purchasing group comprising 18 co-ops with total purchases of in excess of €23m. The “Co-op Source” branded product grouping has a compliment of seven product groupings under its brand these;
- Crop packaging
- Animal mineral supplements
- Dairy Detergents
- Grass Seeds
- Milking Machine filter socks
- Cow teat foam sanitizer
The purchasing group’s membership extends throughout the country. The Group is headquartered in the ICOS office in Cork.
The Irish Milk Quality Co-operative (IMQCS) has been central to promoting milk quality in recent years. The website (www.milkquality.ie) of the IMQCS is updated twice per year and contains numerous presentations on milk quality including an update on flukicides and detergents. In addition, the website contains the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all milking machine technicians registered with the IMQCS and dairy co-operatives.
ICOS Ltd is the registered formal administrator for two group industry-wide pension schemes, the Irish Co-operative Societies’ Pension Scheme and the Dairy Executive Pension Fund, covering 35 contributing co-operatives. In a typical year, ICOS pensions department handles in excess of 2,000 phone calls, administers about 100 new retirement/deaths, and answers enquiries from several hundred former members, in addition to providing contribution and year-end reports for participating co-ops. It also manages the other professional inputs into the schemes from actuaries, investment firms, insurers, legal advisors and audit services.