Around 1,500 Glanbia Co-op investors received an early Christmas bonus last week when the society's Revolving Share Plan paid out €9.4m to investors.
To date this investment vehicle has paid out €16.8m to participating farmers.
The average payout of approximately €11,200 per investor represents a 40pc return on the money invested in 2007.
A spokesperson for Glanbia stressed that the returns related to the 2007 plan only.
Calls to relax sludge rulings
A leading agricultural academic has called for a relaxation in the rules preventing the use of human sludge on crops.
UCD's Professor Jimmy Burke told delegates at the European Landowners Organisation symposium in Dublin there was no good scientific reason for Irish farmers not to use organic wastes from urban areas on their crops.
In addition, Prof Burke highlighted that these grains are being imported into here by the same people who discourage the use of certain human waste products on Irish farms. Some 70pc of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050.