Commenting after last week’s meeting in Kilkenny of ICMSA officers with Glanbia Plc, ICMSA President John Comer said that the propsoed joint venture nd dimunition of Glanbia Co-op’s majority stake in Glanbia plc, he said the matter was complex and that the implications for the farmers concerned were considerable. He said the meeting had been briefed by Glanbia management who then fielded detailed questions from the attendance.
“We got down to a great deal of detail and several of the matters that required clarification have been cleared up. Dairy farmers have a choice to make come November and I would encourage all Glanbia suppliers to attend meetings on the topic to ensure that they make an informed decision on the matter.
“I repeat that ICMSA will be giving the issue the time and concentration it required and we will continue to consult closely with our members supplying Glanbia before making a final recommendation to our members”, said Mr Comer .
The ICMSA President highlighted some of the questions and considerations that will be uppermost in the minds of those ICMSA members contemplating the Glanbia proposal. “Quite clearly, farmers will base their decision on a number of key issues: Firstly, is the price being paid for the business fair and reasonable? Farmers will want to know that they are getting value for their investment. Secondly, will the new Joint Venture be in a better position to return a strong milk price to farmers? This is a critical consideration: With quota abolition scheduled for 2015, the period ahead will present both opportunities and challenges for farmers and they will want reassurances that the JV approach will return a better milk price to them than the current PLC model. Thirdly, quota abolition is likely to bring further milk price volatility and farmers will need to know that the JV approach is better placed to assist them during periods of market downturn. Fourthly, farmers will want guarantees that the JV will have sufficient independence to take decisions with the interests of dairy farmers being their first and top priority. Finally, farmers need to know that the financial plan of the new JV is sustainable and provides for the long-term profitability of the business. Major investments are likely to take place at farm level over the next 10 years and farmer considering the Glanbia proposal simply need to know that their milk processor is a long-term profitable and sustainable business”, said Mr Comer.
“Farm families in the Glanbia region have a huge decision to take in November and they need to receive the necessary clarifications on the matters of concern to them so that they can make an informed decision come the vote”, concluded the ICMSA president.