Dairy farmers in dark over future as board weighs up merger
Hundreds of dairy farmers are facing potential upheaval after LacPatrick announced it was looking at a tie-in with another business
The Monaghan-based co-op, which collects milk from farmers in border areas in Northern Ireland and the Republic, is thought to have received offers from two Irish dairy firms and an international operator.
It collects milk from around 700 Northern Ireland dairy farmers, and was formed nearly three years ago following a merger between Ballyrashane Creameries in Coleraine and Town of Monaghan, which had already bought over Leckpatrick in Co Tyrone.
Co-op members will have the ultimate say on any changes, and any merger would need backing from 75% of members.
Last year it unveiled a new £30m plant at Artigarvan near Strabane, which it said would "Brexit-proof" the business by enabling it to process milk on both sides of the border.
The Belfast Telegraph understands that Cavan-based Lakeland Dairies has made an approach to LacPatrick.
Last night, a spokesman for Lakeland Dairies said it had "noted" LacPatrick's announcement.
He added: "LacPatrick is a substantial business with a strong heritage in co-operative dairy farming."