IFA President John Bryan said that the processing expansion discussions reportedly taking place between Dairygold and Glanbia present a unique opportunity for the co-op structures within both organisations to take a major step towards the integration of our dairy industry to deliver the scale and efficiencies necessary to compete on the global market place.
“I will be meeting the leaders of both co-ops to encourage them towards a successful outcome to their discussions. The opportunity to establish a farmer-controlled processing industry with scale and efficiency must be grasped, and Dairygold and Glanbia must make every effort in their discussions to achieve this,” Mr Bryan said.
“Dairy farmers will be understandably wary of investment in plc projects. It is therefore vital that, in an industry which is steeped in the co-operative ethos, expansion plans involving joint projects between milk processors, whether co-ops or plcs, would be structured so as to provide for solid farmer control of the combined processing facilities,” he said.
“Creative solutions can be found that strengthen farmer control and facilitate necessary investment without any significant dilution of co-op assets even if plc funds are involved at some level,” he added.
“I believe a successful outcome to the Glanbia/Dairygold discussions could be the conduit to speedier progress towards better industry integration over the coming months and years,” he concluded.