Heads of top two food firms earned more than €3m in 2011
THE heads of two of the biggest food companies in the country earned more than €3m between them last year as the sector recorded record profits.
Kerry Group chief executive Stan McCarthy took home €1.8m in 2011, down nearly 15pc on his 2010 remuneration as his performance-related bonus was cut by nearly €400,000.
In contrast, Glanbia boss John Moloney saw his total compensation increased slightly to just under €1.2m for 2011.
Kevin Toland, who runs Glanbia USA, earned a total of €925,000, up from €907,000, while finance director Siobhan Talbot earned €757,000 -- an increase of 16pc on the year before.
At board level in Kerry Group, chief financial officer Brian Mehigan saw his pay packet fall below the €1m mark, dropping to €958,000 from €1,015,000, while Flor Healy's compensation slid to €750,000 compared to €975,000.
Mr Healy leads Kerry Foods. Kerry Ingredients boss Gerry Behan's €1.17m package decreased to €1.08m.
Kerry reported annual profits of more than €360m last year while Glanbia's net income topped €112m in 2011.
Meanwhile, global food prices rose in March for a third straight month with more hikes to come, the UN's food agency said, adding to fears of hunger and a new wave of social unrest in poor countries.
Record-high prices for staple foods last year were one of the main factors that contributed to the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as bread riots in other parts of the world.
The cost of food has risen again this year after coming down from a February 2011 record peak.
The FAO index, which measures monthly price changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 215.9 points in March, up from a revised 215.4 points in February, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.
Although below the February 2011 peak of 237.9, the index is still higher than during a food price crisis in 2007-08 which raised global alarm.
"The food crisis has not gone away since then," said a spokesman for the UN's World Food Programme.
"Prices are a big concern and have remained a large reason why people are food-insecure."