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Monday 18 December 2017

Milk war delays Monaghan's €23m drier plan

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Town of Monaghan Co-op has decided to postpone a €23m development at its plant in Artigarvan because of the ongoing 'milk war' in Northern Ireland.

The co-op's chief executive Vincent Gilhawley confirmed that the processor had decided to "pause" plans to install a new drier at the Co Tyrone site.

Mr Gilhawley said the delay was influenced by the ongoing battle for milk suppliers in Northern Ireland.

Over the last 12 months Town of Monaghan has lost 50m litres, or 10pc of its Northern milk pool, mainly to Fane Valley.

"We do not see the urgency in proceeding with this project until such time as the current milk war is over and the picture becomes clearer as to our actual milk processing requirements," Mr Gilhawley said.

Confirming that planning permission had been obtained for the drier, Mr Gilhawley said the development project in Artigarvan was "well advanced" but that no final contracts had been signed. He assured suppliers that the delay in installing the new drier would not in any way impact on the co-op's ability to process its milk pool.

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