Competition for milk heating up in border counties

Stock photo
Stock photo

Aurivo has declined to comment on reports that it has approached LacPatrick Dairies suppliers in Northern Ireland with a view to switching to the Sligo-based processor.

When asked if Aurivo had talked to current LacPatrick Dairies milk suppliers in the North regarding such a move, a spokesman stated that “Aurivo does not comment on speculation”. It has been suggested that Aurivo representatives targeted LacPatrick suppliers in Antrim.

LacPatrick also declined to comment when contacted by the Farming Independent.

With a milk pool of 500m litres in the North and a further 100m in the South, LacPatrick is a major player in Ulster’s dairy scene. However, recent difficulties at the cross-border dairy have fuelled speculation that it would struggle to hold onto suppliers in Northern Ireland.

But industry commentators have downplayed the likelihood of large-scale supplier movement following confirmation that talks on a possible merger between LacPatrick and Lakeland Dairies were progressing. Lakeland has one of the strongest milk prices in the North.

Meanwhile, LacPatrick Dairies confirmed that it will meet the IFA, ICMSA and Ulster Farmers’ Union over the coming weeks to discuss its possible merger with Lakeland Dairies.

A LacPatrick Dairies spokesman also confirmed that the co-op intends to hold a shareholder vote on any merger deal with Lakeland Dairies in September.

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