A public consultation has been launched to gather views on forthcoming co-operative society legislation, according to minister of state for trade promotion, digital and company regulation Robert Troy.
It is understood the legislation will affect mart and dairy co-operations and such groups are now invited to make submissions.
The proposed legislation will provide a modern and effective legislative framework suitable for the diverse range of organisations using the co-operative model in Ireland, says the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Currently, the Industrial and Provident Societies (IPS) Acts 1893-2021 provide the statutory basis for the formation and general operation of industrial and provident societies and is the primary legislation within which co-operatives operate.
The main elements of the proposed legislation include introducing modern corporate governance, accounting, compliance and reporting requirements for all co-ops.
It will also cover matters relating to registration, amalgamation, strike-off and restoration, shares and share capital.
It will make it easier to set up and operate a co-operative society through reducing the minimum number of founding members from seven down to three.
Minister Troy said: “As we look to a post-COVID recovery, we have an opportunity to reform the way we do business for the better.
“Part of that is diversifying the options available to corporate bodies on how to structure, operate and invest.
“[These] proposals will consolidate, modernise and strengthen the legislative basis for the sector and enshrine the co-operative model in legislation for the first time.”
The consultation is seeking views on a number of specific issues and also provides an opportunity to provide additional comments to inform the completion of the proposed co-op legislation.
The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 25 February 2022.
A link to the public consultation can be found here.