Who are we
Our story is one of challenge and opportunity, ambition and success. The pioneering vision that led to the establishment of ifac over 40 years ago is still driving our organisation today. It has helped make us who we are and inspires our ambition for the future.
Irish agriculture rapidly transformed following Ireland’s membership of the EU, then called the EEC, in January 1973. The guarantee of higher prices and support for farm and farmyard development boosted the confidence of farmers, leading to an accelerated increase in the adoption of new technologies to lift productivity. Coinciding with this, the first farmers were brought into the tax net in 1974, ultimately meaning that farmers were required to produce annual accounts to be tax compliant.
A number of visionaries identified the need for a farmer-owned national farm accounts service and agreed to create a co operative. Chief among these was Donal Cashman, then Deputy President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), a progressive dairy farmer in Cork and a strong believer in the importance of accounts in running a successful farm business. He was strongly supported by Peadar Murphy, Chief Executive of Macra na Feirme and by Macra’s President Tom Sheahan. The Irish Farm Accounts Cooperative Society Ltd was launched in September 1975 with seven shareholders representing the IFA, Macra na Feirme, FBD and the IAOS, the coordinating body for the cooperative movement, and was chaired by Donal Cashman. By the end of 1979,ifac had opened 10 branches, with a further four opening in 1980.
This philosophy of mutuality and a deep connection with people who work on and off the land continues to define ifac’s success today.