The devil is in the detail: that’s become a popular refrain amongst dairy farmers in recent weeks regarding the proposed purchase of Glanbia plc’s ‘Dairy Ireland’ operation by Glanbia Co-op.
Repeating such noises following a meeting of its south east county executives (Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow and Laois) in Kilkenny on Monday night, the ICMSA has welcomed the move in principle.
However, in a statement issued to The Munster Express on Tuesday afternoon, Dairy Committee Chairman Pat McCormack said he is seeing further information on both the proposal and new Co-op’s structure.
“The re-establishment of Glanbia Co-op as a milk processor presents an opportunity for farmers to establish a Co-op that will be soundly based and will be geared and focused on the profitable processing and marketing of farm product,” he said.
“But more detailed information must be made available to dairy farmers before we as a body can signal assent or otherwise.”
Mr McCormack specified that details on the price to be paid for the assets to be re-purchased from the plc and other financial matters would have to be made known.
“The re-establishment of a co-op is no certainty of success and therefore farmer members are entitled to receive a business plan of how the co-op intends to do sound business,” he added.
“In addition there are two other areas where particular information is sought and that is the structure of the Co-op in terms of control and accountability and the rules and funding regarding people becoming shareholders and ceasing to be shareholders of the Co-op.”
Pat McCormack said his Association was “determined to play a constructive role” in the ongoing negotiations in an effort to further the current debate “before any decision is taken by farmer shareholders”.