Cork farm families were paid more than €100 million for milk supplied during 2022

Tirlán has announced its first annual report since it re-branded last year.

Announcing Tirlán’s first annual report and accounts were - are John Murphy, chairman, Lisa Koep, chief ESG officer; Jim Bergin, CEO and Michael Horan, chief financial and secretariat officer. Photo: Dylan Vaughan.

Bill BrowneCorkman

THE country’s largest farmer-owned food and nutrition business, Tirlán, has said it paid €102 million to its milk suppliers in Cork over the course of 2022.

The company, formerly known as Glanbia Ireland and Glanbia, has announced its first annual report since it re-branded last year.

It revealed Tirlán paid out €1.9 billion to more than 5,000 suppliers across the country, with the company saying that demonstrated the huge importance of the farmer owned Co-Op as a “major economic driver of the rural economy.”

The results showed that despite the general economic uncertainty, Tirlán is in a healthy position returning a 36% revenue increase to €3 billion, driven primarily by strong international ingredient sales.

Tirlán CEO Jim Bergin said while company was pleased to deliver such a robust performance in its first year, it was confident of overcoming the many challenges that lay ahead.

“While 2023 has proved challenging to date with a significant reduction in dairy returns, combined with high farm input costs and supply chain inflation, we believe our Co-Op is well positioned to navigate these challenges and support our farmer members,” said Mr Bergin.

“As a significant economic driver and employer in the south-east region, Tirlán is currently recruiting for more than 130 positions in addition to up to 40 graduate positions,” he added.

Commenting on the 2022 results, chairman John Murphy said 2022 was a “milestone year” for Tirlán as it transition to a 100% farmer-owned business and unveiled its new identity.

The co-operative reported record farmgate milk prices of 63cpl (inc VAT), with green feed barley reaching €310 per tonne.

However, prices were mirrored by a sharp rise in farm input costs, with significant increases in energy, fertiliser and feed.

As the largest buyer and user of Irish grains, Tirlán paid farmer members more than €100 million, with an excellent harvest boosting intake to 290,000 tonnes.

The focus on a specialised premium grains portfolio delivered more than €3 million in premium payments to growers.

In 2022, Tirlán member benefited from a spin-out of 12 million shares in Glanbia plc which returned €168 million in value to Members.

In addition, over €6.5 million was paid in share interest (dividends).

“We are very pleased that in Tirlán’s first year of operation we have delivered record milk and grain prices. 2022 was a remarkable year as we returned strong financial results, whilst navigating a steady path through unprecedented volatility and sharp inflationary increases in the costs of inputs at every stage of the supply chain,” said Mr Murphy.

Mirroring the sentiments of Mr Bergin he said Tirlán was “hugely ambitious” for the future of the Co-Op

“As always, we will face challenges, but we are determined to work hard to continue to deliver for the benefit of our members and all our stakeholders,” he pledged.