Farm Ireland

Sunday 18 March 2018

Dairygold vote will not be limited to milk suppliers

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Dairygold's 2,950 milk suppliers will not be the only shareholders eligible to vote in the upcoming special general meeting (SGM) of the co-op.

It has emerged that up to 5,000 Dairygold shareholders will have the right to vote on three motions that are being put to the SGM.

A spokesman for Dairygold confirmed that those eligible to vote included the co-op's 4,500 A1 shareholders and 500 A2 shareholders. A1 shareholders are those described as "active trading shareholders" with the co-op, while A2 shareholders are farmers who have recently ceased trading or supplying milk to the business.

The SGM will take place on Thursday, April 11 in Mallow and will follow Dairygold's AGM on the same day. The meeting will vote on three motions relating to the funding arrangements proposed for Dairygold's planned €120m expansion.

The proposals from management have been questioned by a minority of the co-op's milk suppliers. One shareholder body, the Dairygold Milk Suppliers and Shareholders Group (DMSSG), has submitted two motions:

(a)We propose that the entire Dairygold Milk Supply Agreement (MSA), incorporating funding (share up and revolving fund) and contract, be shelved until an up-to-date market and supply forecast is completed, independently verified by persons to be agreed, and then a properly devised and financed expansion plan and supply forecast (if necessary) put in place in consultation with all milk suppliers;

(b)We propose that independent milk testing be introduced immediately as promised.

The Dairygold general committee has also tabled a motion:

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That the meeting endorse Dairygold Co-op's current milk expansion plan as outlined in the Milk Suppliers Guide and put into effect by the Milk Supply Agreement and the 2013 Purchasing Terms and Conditions. We request the board to continue to implement its current expansion plan and keep it under constant review in the interests of the suppliers and members as a whole.

A spokesman for Dairygold said that 80pc of milk suppliers had signed the Milk Supply Agreement. Notice of the AGM and SGM was sent to all Dairygold shareholders last week and the annual accounts will be circulated this week, he added.

Irish Independent