Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 20 September 2018

'It's business as usual,' says new Glanbia chairman

Henry Corbally (left) and Martin Keane
Henry Corbally (left) and Martin Keane
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Glanbia has to deepen members' understanding of the payments model which enables Glanbia Co-op to pay supports to farmer suppliers for milk and grain: that's the message from its new chairman Martin Keane.

Mr Keane succeeded Henry Corbally in a surprise changing of the guard within Glanbia Co-op board last Friday.

The Laois farmer, who steps down as president of ICOS after its AGM this week, has been on the board of Glanbia for the past 11 years and was Glanbia vice-chairman since 2010. He is also a director of Ornua.

Mr Keane said that the current payment model, which ring fences a proportion of Glanbia Co-op's dividend revenue and targets these funds at providing supports back to active farmers, was in operation for just over 12 months. The new chairman told the Farming Independent it takes time for members to appreciate how the operating model worked. However, he pointed out that the payment structures received strong support when voted on by farmers in May 2017.

The continuing support of Glanbia Ireland's milk price by Glanbia Co-op caused some dissension among a minority of shareholders at the co-op's AGM last week.

Dry shareholders voiced their dissatisfaction that the milk price is being supported to the tune of 2c/l at the moment, in a move which cost Glanbia Co-op around €4m for April alone.

Meanwhile, Mr Keane paid tribute to the "huge commitment and achievements" of his predecessor Henry Corbally during his three years as chairman. Looking to the future, he said it would be a case of "business as usual" for Glanbia.

"I am very pleased to be appointed to serve as group chairman of Glanbia. I will continue to build on the work of all those who have had the vision to make Glanbia the global nutrition group it is today and to help steer the business through its next phase of growth and development," Mr Keane said.

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In further board changes at Glanbia, Patrick Murphy took over from Mr Keane as Glanbia vice-chairman, while Glanbia Co-op's representation on the Glanbia Plc board dropped from 10 directors to eight, with Tom Grant and Patsy Ahern stepping down. Both continue as Glanbia Co-op directors.

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