John Tyrrell, director general of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), the co-ops’ national umbrella body, made the observation when he launched a history of the Kanturk-based Society at the Glen Theatre, Banteer.
He congratulated the board and management of the co-op and author Joe Guerin for recording the story of how the society developed since it was founded 80 years ago.
“We all have a responsibility to highlight what co-ops do, how they work, who benefits from their success and how they can meet local needs,” he said.
Co-op chairman John Ahern said the society was very proud and happy to be associated with the publication.
He thanked farmers, management, staff and former employees for their generous and willing co-operation which made the publication possible.
Co-op general manager Sean McAuliffe said the economic and social conditions were difficult when the society was founded. Many people lived in tough conditions, on or below the poverty line.
Mr McAuliffe said the strong, independent and successful agribusiness that is now North Cork Co-op is living testament to the hard work, foresight, loyalty and dedication of its founders, members, suppliers and staff.
“We in North Cork Co-op believe that our society is a co-operative in the best sense of the word. Co-operation has been defined as people working together to help one another, and it is essential in our closely-knit agriculturally dependent community,” he said.