Four Irish co-operatives are among 18 finalists shortlisted from across the European Union, in the European Awards for Co-operative Innovation.
Organised by COGECA, the European Association of Agri-Cooperatives, the awards are considered the ‘Oscars’ for innovation in co-operative industries, marking innovation and excellence in the agri-food, fishery and forestry sectors.
The Irish co-operative organisations shortlisted are Dairygold, FRS Network, Glanbia and the National Federation of Group Water Schemes. The theme of this year’s award focuses on sustainability-driven innovation including the creation of new products and services.
Dairygold is shortlisted for its Sustainability Bonus Payment, in the “Economic Value Creation – Support to Farmer Members” category. The focus of this initiative is improving herd health and increasing herd productivity through the promotion and facilitation of milk recording among farmers.
Glanbia has been selected as a finalist for its Twenty20 Beef Club in the “Economic Value Creation – Support to Farmer Members” category. This is a model of dairy calf-to-beef production, which combines guaranteed market and premium pricing.
The FBS Network is a finalist for its Member Benefit Scheme, in the “Social Value Creation” category. The FBS scheme offers subsidised skilled labour in the event of an accident or sickness of the main family farm operator, providing protection to ensure that their business can continue to operate.
The National Federation of Group Water Schemes was named as a finalist for their Source Protection Pilot Project in the category of “Environment Value Creation – Natural Resources and Biodiversity.”