IFA President Joe Healy has welcomed the decision by LacPatrick and Lakeland shareholders in two separate SGMs to approve the proposed merger of the two co-ops with 96% and 97% positive votes respectively.
Joe Healy said he was aware that the proposed merger still had to be approved by the regulatory authorities, and wished the new entity the very best for the future.
Mr Healy said: “The merger must deliver on the faith demonstrated by shareholders who voted so overwhelmingly to bring the two co-ops together. The merged entity must position itself in the best possible way to optimise dairy processing and marketing and to pay a strong price to farmers. This is particularly critical in the context of Brexit, as both constituent co-ops have farmer members and processing facilities both sides of the border”.
IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan added: “I wish the new merged co-op the very best: dairy farmers in the North East need a strong co-op to defend their business interests, especially with a potentially problematic Brexit only months away”.
“Dairy farmers in the region need to know that the co-operative business they charge with collecting, processing, adding value and marketing their milk will be optimally efficient. This merger must reward the confidence shown by shareholders in both LacPatrick and Lakeland votes today, by delivering added value and stronger milk prices,” he concluded.