Plans in place for FCI agri contractors’ national conference

The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has confirmed that its next biennial ‘Conference and Exhibition’ (Confex) will take place at the National Show Centre, Cloghran, Swords (adjacent to Dublin Airport) on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

The Confex theme will be ‘Contracting – A Vision for the Future’ and it will be focused on “providing Irish farm and forestry contractors with a one-day event that will incorporate a series of information seminars coupled with a machinery exhibition”.

The association has welcomed the support of FBD Insurance as the lead sponsor of the one-day event. It says that it has worked closely with FBD Insurance to provide a “tailor-made insurance support service to suit the needs of Irish contractors”.

Michael Moroney, CEO of FCI; Patrick Carey, FBD; Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD Insurance; and Richard White, National Chairman, FCI. Image source: Finbarr O’Rourke

Confex 2018 has apparently been modeled on the success of similar contractor-focused events by similar associations across Europe. Through its membership of CEETTAR – the European contractors’ association – FCI says that it has been able to call on the “support and expertise” of contractor associations in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands – all of which run similar biennial events.

The event will “build on the success of a smaller event held in Kilkenny in March 2016″. For 2018, the new location at the National Show Centre, Cloghran, Swords, is adjacent to Dublin Airport. The facility includes a covered display area, restaurant facilities and hard standing car parking – accessible from the M50 and M1 motorways.

Richard White, National Chairman of FCI, said: “We are delighted to have FBD Insurance’s support for Confex 2018, as it recognises the important part that farm and forestry contractors play in the Irish agri-food and rural economy. We are growing in membership and developing a support network based on the needs of Irish contractors.

Michael Moroney, CEO of FCI; Patrick Carey, FBD; Peter Farrelly, FCI Secretary; Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD Insurance; Norman Egar, FCI Vice-chairman; and Richard White, National Chairman, FCI. Image source: Finbarr O’Rourke

“Confex 2018 will provide Irish contractors with new information and advice in a structured way, to help them to enhance their businesses to meet changing needs. We want to see our members play a full part in the future development of the Irish agri-food industry.”

According to FCI, Confex 2018 has been timed to suit contractors – ahead of the slurry spreading season and post-Christmas.

Image source: Shane Casey

FCI says that it maintains a database of more than 1,000 farm and forestry contractors across the island of Ireland – all of whom will be invited to participate in the event.