Threat to pull IDB levy withdrawn by suppliers
A proposal that farmers stop paying the Irish Dairy Board (IDB) levy from July 31 unless co-ops agreed to major changes in its shareholding and administrative structure has been withdrawn.
The motion was proposed at a meeting of the Discussion Groups of Ireland in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Co Tipperary, and led to some heated exchanges among delegates.
Kevin Twomey, chairman of the discussion group body, said the proposal had been tabled as a means of promoting debate and was now "off the agenda".
"We want to be constructive in the path forward," Mr Twomey said. "The important thing is agreeing the principle of an independently elected board."
A motion unanimously passed by the discussion groups' meeting called for the shareholding and board representation in the IDB to be transferred from its constituent co-ops to individual dairy farmers.
The proposal would see farmers pay their levy directly to the IDB, for which they would get a shareholding. Nine farmer members would be directly elected to the IDB board on the basis of 'one milk supplier, one vote'. This group would then nominate four additional board members.
The four co-opted members could be former dairy industry executives, who would have market and industry experience and expertise, Mr Twomey explained.
Executives working with companies and co-ops in the Irish dairy sector should not be considered, Mr Twomey added.