Ornua directors commit to 'resolving governance matters' at Board level

Photo: Clare Keogh
Photo: Clare Keogh
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

After its final board meeting of the year, which was held today, the Directors of Ornua released a statement saying they "recognise governance matters have recently arisen at Board level...all directors have committed themselves..to resolve these matters".

The Board meeting had been postponed in November due to governance issues and today's meeting and statement comes amid weeks of debate after Glanbia launched its Truly Grass Fed dairy range in the US.

The move sparked controversy as the differences between the dairy companies were prompted by the launch.

Matters deteriorated further following the move to Glanbia of a former senior staff member at Ornua's US office. Glanbia Co-op is a shareholder in Ornua, like most other dairy co-ops, and is represented on the dairy marketing body's board.

In launching its Truly Grass Fed cheese, Glanbia has been accused of targeting Ornua's Kerrygold brand, and its lucrative market share in the US. Glanbia rejects this assertion.

Ornua, the largest exporter of Irish dairy products with annualised sales of over €2 billion across 110 countries.

Today's final board meeting of 2018 saw the Board Directors review Ornua’s performance for 2018 and discussed key elements of the Group’s international growth strategy, which aims to create value and deliver strong returns for its members and, in turn, Irish dairy farmers.

In a statement, released after the Board meeting, the Board said it is focused on protecting the interests of the business on behalf of its members. 

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"The Directors recognise governance matters have recently arisen at Board level. All Directors have committed themselves to a process over the coming months that will work to resolve these matters."

Looking to 2019, the focus of the Board will be to work with the leadership team to continue to capitalise on Ornua’s established market leading positions in major export markets such as the US and Germany and to accelerate its development in key emerging markets. 

Ornua in 2019, will continue to invest in its brands, new product development and new routes to market to deliver value for Irish dairy farmers, it said.                         

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