Why this dairy processor wants more women on its board
The average age of the board of dairy processors LacPatrick has come down, CEO Gabriel D'Arcy says, its all-male status is something he'd like to see change.
While D'Arcy says the all-male board reflects the nature of the industry, he'd like that to change.
"It's fair to say there are some good female farmers coming through, and some good wives who are very exceptionally qualified in their own domain that would make fantastic board members," he says.
Although there is no gender policy as such for his own board, he's a fan of quotas for boards more generally.
"There should be a balance on the board. Females' way of thinking on a lot of things is quite different and often much more thoughtful than the male way on a lot of different issues. I'm not saying that in a sexist way, but there's a lot of studies that show the best decisions are often arrived at by a mixed team of people that contains females and males operating in mutual respect."
LacPatrick, employs 300 and with a turnover of more than €300m, is a prime example of the interwoven nature of the agri-food industry on the island.
Headed up by D'Arcy, it makes butter, liquid milk, cheese and powders. It currently handles and processes more than 600 million litres of milk from more than 1,000 farmers, with more than 500 million litres coming from suppliers in the North, and the remainder in the Republic, from in and around Monaghan.
It has three operations - in Tyrone, Coleraine, and in Monaghan, where it is headquartered and it buys and sells in euros and pounds.