New programme established to ‘enhance’ mart management

A new Mart Management Development Programme has been established in a bid to “enhance management and organisational practices in co-operative marts”.

According to a statement from the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), the programme aims to ensure the continuing availability of skills for the successful operation of marts into the future, including management succession planning.

The programme is being delivered by Technological University Dublin at its Tallaght campus and also in Portlaoise in conjunction with ICOS Skillnet – the learning and development division of ICOS.

The new programme requires participants to engage in an “intensive” five-day immersion programme of lectures, case studies and workshops across 12 modules.

The modules range from co-operative governance, finance and environmental subjects through to employment legislation, customer relationship management, data protection, media awareness and marketing.

Participants build on existing skills and develop new management capabilities in a “highly interactive” learning environment, according to the statement.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Property Services Regulatory Authority are also participating by providing lectures and information on the relevant standards and regulatory provisions applying to the marts sector.

Managers and next-in-line staff from nine co-operative mart groups are currently taking part in the inaugural course including:
  • Aurivo Marts;
  • Athenry Mart;
  • Central Auctions Services Co-op Society, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary;
  • Clare Marts;
  • Cork Marts;
  • Mid-Tipp Mart;
  • Roscommon Marts;
  • Waterford Ross Mart;
  • Wexford Farmers Co-op Mart.

Michael Spellman, President of ICOS said: “We are already fortunate to have a very dedicated and professional cohort of executives in the leadership of our co-operative marts.

“These are farmer owned and controlled businesses which exist for the mutual benefit of the livestock farming community.

“Co-operative marts are increasingly sophisticated operations requiring a very solid understanding of business management practices, organisational management, technology and regulatory compliance across a wide range of parameters.

“In turn, they promote competition in the trade of livestock and they contribute to regional economic wellbeing through the sales that they enable and the services that they provide.”

Concluding, Spellman said: “I’m confident that this will be of benefit to the staff of the nine marts participating in the inaugural course and of even further benefit to the marts sector in the years ahead.”