Wednesday 28 September 2016

Milk prices to fall further for farmers, says Glanbia boss on €1.9m pay packet

Conor Kane

Published 28/04/2016 | 02:30

Glanbia MD Siobhan Talbot. Photo: Dylan Vaughan
Glanbia MD Siobhan Talbot. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

The €1.9m head of agri-food company Glanbia has warned that milk prices are likely to get worse for farmers before they get better because of ongoing global challenges to the industry.

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Siobhan Talbot, Group Managing Director of Glanbia, who issued the warning at the company's AGM in Kilkenny yesterday, saw her remuneration increase by 16pc last year to €1.9m. In addition, she was granted shares in the company valued at €1.6m.

Ms Talbot said a period of international "volatility" is hitting the prices farmers are getting for their milk in this country and elsewhere.

"To be very frank with you, it might get a bit worse before it gets better," she said to questions from the floor on milk prices.

"Because what we see happening is an increase in global supply and a demand that isn't enough to soak that up."

Speaking to the Irish Independent later, Ms Talbot admitted that milk prices have remained lower than was forecast when quotas were removed, saying "the scale of the downward momentum is more than people would have foreseen".

There was "always an expectation" that production in Ireland would increase but other countries also increased production and this had lowered prices, she said.

Overall staff costs at Glanbia increased by 22pc last year.

When exceptional costs associated with redundancies are included, total employee costs at the company are €74,000 per head.

Ms Talbot said the increase in staff costs was due to the fact that a lot of the group's employees are in the USA, where currency fluctuations have played a part.

"The biggest part by far of that increase was quite simply dollar salaries being translated into a euro number," she said.

Irish Independent

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