ICOS Dairy Committee elects new chairman

The Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS) Dairy Committee has elected John O’Gorman as its new chairman, the co-op representative group has confirmed.

A dairy farmer from Clogheen, Co. Tipperary, O’Gorman is the chairman of Dairygold Co-operative Society.

The Tipperary man holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Management and a diploma in Corporate Direction, Food Business from University College Cork (UCC).

O’Gorman is a member of the ICOS Dairy Committee and board since 2018 and replaces Peter Fleming in the position.

Fleming has announced his retirement from the board of Ornua Cooperative, and is also retiring from the ICOS board.

Speaking after his election as chairman of the dairy committee O’Gorman said: “I’m honoured to have been elected chairman of the ICOS Dairy Committee at this pivotal time for the Irish dairy sector.

“We are in unprecedented times due to Covid-19, environmental sustainability challenges and with Brexit uncertainty firmly back on the agenda.”

The new chairman highlighted that the requirement to produce safe, nutritious food with minimal environmental implications “is one of the most pressing challenges facing the dairy sector”, noting the publication in recent weeks of the new Programme for Government at national level and the Farm to Fork Strategy at EU level.

I am confident the dairy sector can rise to these challenges through the continued adoption of good, efficient farming practices, alongside our carbon-efficient grass-based model of production, which is the cornerstone of the Irish dairy sector.

“Income volatility affecting primary producers and the implementation of the EU’s Veterinary Medicines Regulation are also important issues of concern to our members.”

Outlining that he looks forward to representing dairy farmers and their co-ops at this crucial time, O’Gorman concluded, stating: “I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor Peter Fleming who served as chairman with great energy and leadership.”

TJ Sullivan, chairman of Carbery Group and Drinagh Cooperative, replaces Fleming as a member of the ICOS Dairy Committee and board, the group announced.