HISTORY was created for all the wrong reasons last week when, at a scheduled meeting of the 86 member Council of Glanbia Co-operative Society four nominees were put forward for re-election to the board of the society. Following a secret ballot, overseen by two independent scrutineers appointed by the council, two of the four nominations were accepted and two were rejected.
The democratic decision of the 86 member council, representing 11 Society Regional Committees as well as corporate members - reflects the decision of individual members taken in accordance with the rules of the Society. Society rules require all board member nominations from respective Regional Committees to be ratified by the council for appointment to the board.
This is the first time in its history, that the Glanbia Co-op Council, failed to ratify nominees put forward by a regional committee. In the case of the two men not ratified, they voted against the plan by Glanbia Co-op to form a joint venture with the plc in respect of the dairy ingredients Ireland business. Robert Prendergast from Goresbridge is one of those and while he received a strong mandate from his local organisation, the council decided not to ratify him. They have the power to do so and now the Barrowvale area must nominate another person, other than Mr Prendergast who has an excellent reputation of representing farmers on the Glanbia Co-op council. If his name is again put forward, the council has the right to nominate someone else from the region, but it seems unlikely that anyone would be willing to take Mr Prendergast’s place
The Council members are formally elected by their regional committees and are thus an important representative body, reflecting the views of farmers and committee members at the grass roots level to both management and the Board.
A considerable portion of the council’s agenda during 2012 was devoted to considering the merits of the joint venture and share spin-out proposals which were developed by the Society Board during 2012 and overwhelmingly approved by members in the respective Advisory Vote and special general meetings
Having considered the proposals both within the council as well as at meetings in their local Regions, the general feedback from the ouncil was one of overwhelming support for both proposals.