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30 Sept 2022

Glanbia Co-op rebrands with new identity at special Kilkenny event

Irish rugby international Tadhg Furlong unveiled as Tirlán ambassador

KILKENNY

Irish rugby international Tadhg Furlong with John Murphy, Chairman, Tirlán, Jim Bergin, CEO, Tirlán and Nicola O’Connell, Head of Commercial, Tirlán

Glanbia Co-operative Society Limited (Glanbia Co-op) and Glanbia Ireland will now be known as Tirlán - a new identity crafted to reflect the unique characteristics that define this dynamic organisation.

Combining the Irish words ‘Tír’ for land and ‘Lán’ for full, Tirlán stands for ‘Land of Abundance’ and represents the deep connection and relationship between the Co-op, its people and the land they nurture together to farm and sustain.

Tirlán was unveiled simultaneously to employees and farmer shareholders during a webinar hosted today in the Co-op’s new collaboration centre at Abbey Quarter in Kilkenny City.

It is just the latest step on an exciting new journey for the Co-op. In December 2021, farmer shareholders voted in favour of purchasing the remaining 40% stake in Glanbia Ireland from Glanbia plc to become the outright owners of the Irish dairy and grain business.

Co-op shareholders will be asked to vote to approve the name change for the Co-op in the coming weeks.

Glanbia plc will retain and continue to operate under the Glanbia name as an entirely separate entity. Tirlán will remain the largest shareholder in Glanbia plc, with a 31.9% shareholding.

From its base in the South-East of Ireland, Tirlán sources its high-quality dairy and grains from a network of over 6,000 farm families who are at the heart of the business. Tirlán’s portfolio includes many of Ireland’s best known and most loved Irish dairy brands, such as Avonmore, Kilmeaden, Premier, Wexford and international brands such as GAIN Animal  Nutrition, Truly Grass Fed, Millac and Solmiko nutritional milk proteins.

As a co-operative, Tirlán is 100% farmer-owned, with 11 high-tech processing facilities, 52 agri-branches and over 2,100 employees. Sales revenue this year is forecast to exceed €3 billion.

The co-operative is a significant contributor to the rural economy. In the past year it has paid over €1.6 billion directly to farm families for milk and grain. As the largest buyer and user of Irish grains, Tirlán handles over 270,000 tonnes, including a portfolio of premium grains.

Tirlán has a strong global footprint with a market presence in the UK, France, Germany, UAE, the US, North Africa, Japan and China. The Group currently exports to over 80 countries. It recently commenced construction of a €200m state-of-the-art continental cheese facility at Belview, Kilkenny, in a joint venture with international dairy producer Royal A-ware.

With over a third of Ireland’s milk pool, Tirlán will continue to be a key player at the heart of the Irish food and beverage sector, an area of enormous significance both to the national economy and our overall export success.

Sustainability is of tremendous importance to Tirlán. As part of its comprehensive sustainability strategy ‘Living Proof’, the organisation has signed up to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). It has set out a roadmap with ambitions, backed by a robust implementation programme, to be Net Zero for carbon emissions by 2050, with 30% absolute reductions by 2030, and similar reductions in carbon intensity from milk production. This ambitious plan demonstrates Tirlán’s bold commitment to farmers and society at large as well as the wider food and nutrition sector, and outlines how they intend to work towards a fully sustainable future.

Speaking at the launch of Tirlán in Kilkenny, CEO Jim Bergin, said:

“It is with a sense of history and optimism that we unveil Tirlán as an ambitious, innovative, and modern co-op that combines the best of our heritage, all our people, and our expertise. Our organisation has evolved over our 100 year history. Entering this new phase of our co-op’s journey, Tirlán has ambitions for an ever-increasing role in the wider economy, the international food and nutrition sectors, and especially in rural communities across the country.

“We are so proud of our history and heritage and determined that the sense of pride and identity is always at the heart of our business. That is what Tirlán represents.”

Commenting on the unveiling of the new identity, the Chairman of Tirlán, John Murphy, said:

“Over the decades, Tirlán has consistently underpinned the livelihoods of our people and our communities. This next exciting step in our evolution will see even stronger bonds with our farmers, our people and our customers. I am really excited about the launch of Tirlán and the opportunities for this ambitious company to grow and develop in the coming years. We have great brands, well-invested facilities and most importantly, a superb team of people. Our farmers own the business and supply really high quality produce from family-run operations that are huge contributors to the rural economy. We will maintain our relentless ambition to deliver ever more sophisticated nutrition to our customers and reap the rewards for our farm families.

“Our strong ambitions require an identity that reflects our position as a co-operative that cares for our people and strives to deliver a sustainable future for all. I strongly believe Tirlán achieves that objective.”

The launch was also attended and addressed by Tirlán’s brand ambassador, Leinster, Ireland, and British and Irish Lions rugby international Tadhg Furlong, who is from a farming background in Co. Wexford. Tadhg Furlong will be central to an upcoming campaign to build awareness of the new Tirlán identity throughout our communities over the coming months.

Speaking about Tirlán and the vital role the co-operative plays in supporting and sustaining farming families, rural communities, jobs and livelihoods, Tadhg Furlong said:

“Coming from a country background and a farming family, I know the hugely important role farming co-operatives play in local communities and economies across Ireland. In that regard, Tirlán is one of the most important businesses in Ireland and I am proud to help promote visibility and awareness of the co-op to farming families, Tirlán customers, and the wider public over the coming months.”

Tirlán will start to become visible over the coming months, with a phased transition to the new identity on trucks, products, and facilities. The 52 agri-branches and retail stores will be re-branded to Tirlán FarmLife and Tirlán CountryLife on a phased basis. The popular Glanbia Connect website will transition to Tirlán FarmLife with immediate effect.

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