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Independent.ie

Sunday 11 December 2016

Top Ornua executives keep their silence

Martin Grant

Published 22/04/2016 | 02:30

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney at the Kerrygold manufacturing plant in Lagos, Nigeria, in December 2015. Photo: Darragh McCullough
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney at the Kerrygold manufacturing plant in Lagos, Nigeria, in December 2015. Photo: Darragh McCullough

Top executives at Ornua maintained their silence over a €9.2m pay and pensions pot.

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The total was revealed in the annual report for the first time under new accountancy rules.

However, Ornua has refused to give a breakdown of who gets what out of the pay pot.

The Irish Independent, through Ornua's communications manager, put questions to all 10 listed executives, as it was not stated who the nine top earners were.

Executives were asked if they received a share of the €9.2m, and if they would disclose the amount. But a spokeswoman for Ornua last night said that the executives "declined to comment individually".

Ornua said that "attracting and retaining talented staff" was important to it.

Meanwhile, the 14 directors - who shared €509,000 between them last year - also refused to state how much they each received in board fees.

The Irish Independent contacted directors - including Dairygold's Jim Woulfe, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland's Jim Bergin and Aurivo Co-op's Aaron Forde - either through their individual co-ops or Ornua, and asked them to disclose board fees and if Ornua should break down its executive pay.

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Just five of the directors responded to queries last night - Ted O'Connor of the Tipperary Co-op Creamery; John Comer of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association; Irish Farmers Association's Sean O'Leary; Glanbia Ingredients Ireland's Jim Bergin and Martin Keane.

However, none of the 14 directors stated that Ornua pay should be broken down.

Mr O'Connor would not state the fees he received on the Ornua board, nor would he reveal his salary at the Tipperary co-op. He said Ornua's executive pay shouldn't be broken down because of "competitive reasons".

Mr Comer revealed that his remuneration is less than €50,000 for work with the ICMSA, but asked if Ornua executive pay should be broken down, he referred it to Ornua.

Mr O'Leary also referred the question to Ornua, adding that he received a payment from the IFA of €100 to replace "labour on the farm" and also vouched expenses for IFA work.

Glanbia's Mr Bergin and Mr Keane also would not state if they believed individual executive pay should be revealed, referring the issues to Ornua.

Irish Independent



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