Farm Ireland

Friday 22 September 2017

Directorship changes could drive away young farmers, warns Macra Na Feirme

A Dairygold proposal to increase the number of terms a director can sit on co-operative boards may militate against young farmer involvement at board level, Macra na Feirme has claimed.

The Dairygold proposal would allow directors to sit for four five-year terms compared to the current three terms, but Macra president Kieran O'Dowd says this could have a 'negative impact' on young farmer involvement in agribusiness.

"Co-ops should encourage and facilitate young farmers to play an active role in the governance and development of the co-operative business by ensuring that every opportunity is available to young dairy farmers to be actively involved in their co-operative, said Mr O'Dowd.

"Young farmers will be at the forefront of agriculture growth in Ireland and thus should be able to participate in key decisions affecting their livelihoods," he added.

Meanwhile, as of late last week, 41 of the 48 suppliers to the Fivemiletown and Brookeborough Co-operative and Dairy Society had signed contracts to supply milk to Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL). If, as expected, the remaining suppliers sign the deal, it will give GIIL a milk pool of 48m litres from Filemiletown's suppliers.

GIIL will organise milk collection and other services in a deal which some sources have claimed will give each supplier a once-off payment of £10,000 (€12,000) for signing the five-year contract with GIIL.

Last month, a majority of the Fivemiletown shareholders accepted a takeover bid by GIIL for a business that was said to be losing approximately €120,000 a month.

Fivemiletown's cheese manufacturing plant is being closed as part of the deal which will lead to 50 redundancies. The Society will negotiate the redundancies and also retains ownership of the factory and a hardware and agricultural supplies business.

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