IFA President John Bryan today (Wednesday) welcomed the decision by the IFA Executive Council to support both phases of the Glanbia Joint Venture proposal.
Mr Bryan said that IFA elected officers in the Glanbia area had, with independent professional back up, considered all aspects of the deal, and had recommended to Council that it was in the best interests of Glanbia farmers and shareholders to support both phases of the proposal. “The deal is fair and balanced, and if it receives the support of Glanbia shareholders, it will open the door to more meaningful joint industry projects to improve the competitiveness of the sector in the best interest of all Irish dairy farmers.”
Last week, the IFA elected officers in the Glanbia area had a comprehensive briefing from Deloitte on the key financial aspects of the deal, and were presented with a report from pensions experts Eversheds. Following both presentations and an in-depth discussion, the IFA group decided to unanimously recommend support for both phases of the proposals to the IFA Executive Council today.
Mr Bryan said “It is very important that the deal works for all categories of shareholders and the second vote will be particularly important for dry shareholders”.
“The Glanbia proposals as they stand today are very different from those put to farmers in 2010. Both the National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey and I were reassured that this proposal represents a balanced and fair deal for farmers and shareholders. We will both be standing up on this occasion, and as shareholders, we will be voting yes on November 13th, and on the dates of the other two votes,” he said.
“With the support of Council, and following the recommendation of our elected officers in the Glanbia area, I am happy to encourage all co-op shareholders to turn out, and to vote ‘yes’ for the proposals in front of them,” he said.
IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey added: “We have made significant progress in discussions with Glanbia on topics raised by IFA from the very early stages, including issues around the revolving fund on growth milk. In addition, I welcome the elimination of seasonality penalties for 2015 with a review for 2016 and a flexible approach on this matter in the interim. The commitment to formally enshrine current merchant credit arrangements and the existing relationships of trading members with the Agri-trading division, to further develop fixed milk price contracts, and to examine with farmers other milk pricing solutions which can help manage volatility, are also important,” he said.
“This project is about securing milk processing expansion for the next generation with a minimal debt burden, allowing all shareholders an opportunity to realise the value of their investment in the co-op over the years, while eliminating the co-op’s debt and freeing up its annual Plc dividend income for projects relevant to all. I will vote for it, and I encourage all my fellow Glanbia shareholders to do the same,” he concluded