A Glanbia Board member, Martin Keane, and Laois farmer, has urged farmers who are members of Glanbia Co-operative Society to back radical changes to the co-op.
Mr Martin Keane, who is a dairy farmer from Errill said farmers should support the changes to ensure they have their say next Tuesday, November 13, for what will be a historic vote on a joint venture proposal. If passed he said it will put milk processing back in farmer control.
Approval of the Joint Venture proposal is required for a subsequent vote on a share spin-out to members valued at circa €144 million.
Under the new ownership structure – which would see the Society acquire a 60% stake in Dairy Ingredients Ireland - the Irish dairy processing business of Glanbia plc -it is claimed that milk suppliers will be able to optimise milk returns, while still retaining a major stake in Glanbia plc.Mr Keane believes farmers should back the pla>n
“The proposals that have emerged after a year of analyses by management, independent advisors and the Board of the Society, reflect the views of both milk suppliers and dry shareholders.
“The Joint Venture proposal represents the most effective structure to optimise milk price as well as give members and future generations of farmers vital control of the business most aligned with milk processing.
“In addition, from the point of view of all Society members, it also means that the plc can continue to grow the value of its international businesses – to the benefit of all stakeholders, thereby maximising the Co-op investment in the plc.
“If adopted, the changes in the structure pave the way for a new processing site at Belview port, putting in place critical processing capacity to cater fully to the growth ambitions of milk producers in the post quota regime. The Society is determined to fully exploit this historic change on behalf of members …which will have a knock on benefit of jobs and an economic impact worth €500m per year to the local economy.
“The Board of Glanbia Co-operative Society and I as the local representative, urge Laois farmers to vote “yes” on 13 November,” he said.
Mr Keane said a yes vote would deliver the following
* More direct farmer ownership in advance of historic milk expansion opportunity, at a fair price;
* Most robust financial model of all options reviewed by the Board and its advisers;
* Best placed of all options to optimise milk prices;
* Retain major shareholding in Glanbia plc;
* Paves the way for a decision on a share spin-out to members valued at circa €144 million”
Approval for the Joint Venture is required from in excess of 50% of Society members.