'Rebels' continue to be thorn in Dairygold side
Published 12/12/2012 | 06:00
Dairygold farmers with high milk supplies but low shareholdings are continuing to ruffle feathers at the co-op's information meetings.
Some of the most strident objectors to the new milk supply agreement appear to be farmers who inherited holdings with high milk supplies but without the co-op shareholding that had been built up on the back of that milk.
The farmers, who are being referred to by some other Dairygold suppliers as the 'Mitchelstown rebels' but are not limited to that geographic area, claim they will be forced to invest thousands in shares over too short a timeframe.
It is understood that 40pc of the co-op's 3,000 milk suppliers will need to buy additional shares to meet the minimum level required.
One farmer claimed that a supplier with a 100,000gal (450,000l) milk supply but a shareholding of just 2,000 shares would be required to buy 16,000 shares at a cost of €16,000 over just two years.
However, Dairygold chief executive Jim Woulfe insisted many farmers had over-estimated the contributions they would be required to make.
In a statement issued to the Farming Independent, the co-op boss maintained that farmers with fewer than 4,000 shares per 100,000l (4cpl) would be required to increase their shareholding at an annual rate of 0.5cpl of milk supplied. In the example above, it would take just over seven years to reach 4cpl on 450,000 litres, and not two years as claimed by the farmer.
Mr Woulfe insisted the Dairygold shareholding requirement was very low.