Construction due to start at Belview
Glanbia Co-op is shortly due to break ground on its continental cheese processing facility at Belview in south Kilkenny, Glanbia Co-op AGM heard.
Glanbia Co-op is shortly due to break ground on its continental cheese processing facility at Belview in south Kilkenny, it was confirmed at the Annual General Meeting of Glanbia Co-operative Society today.
Glanbia Co-op Chairman John Murphy stated the management team was working to have the important processing facility commissioned for 2024.
In February, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled to uphold An Bord Pleanála’s grant of planning permission for the facility being constructed as part of a joint venture with Royal A-ware.
The AGM heard a two-year delay to the project had a negative impact on farm families and the Glanbia Ireland business.
The Chairman paid tribute to the hard work of suppliers and employees through the challenges of Covid, as Members had the opportunity to gather at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny for the first in-person AGM in three years.
A number of topics were raised at the well-attended meeting including the Investment Fund, twice monthly payments, Fixed Milk Price schemes and farmer advocacy.
“Our AGM is a significant event on our calendar each year and I’m delighted that today we had the opportunity to host the meeting in-person and we listened carefully and will take on board the comments and views raised,” he said.
It also marked the first AGM since the completion of the transaction earlier this year to take outright ownership of Glanbia Ireland, its network of world-class processing assets, high-quality ingredients and award-winning brands such as Avonmore, Kilmeaden and GAIN Animal Nutrition.
“2021 was an historic year in the evolution of our Co-operative. After over 100 years of delivering for our communities, we embark on a new chapter as a 100% farmer-owned Co-operative with world-class processing facilities and award-winning brands,” he said.
“Glanbia Co-op is moving from essentially an investment vehicle to an active, ambitious Co-op with over €2 billion of revenue.
“In the coming months, our Co-op will transition to a new name and brand in line with our new operating structure which is an exciting opportunity to position our Co-op strongly and positively for the future,” said the Chairman.
For over a century, Glanbia Co-op has been a key driver of rural communities. In 2021, the Co-op paid out €1.3 billion for milk, with €230m alone going to family farms in Kilkenny, €192m paid to suppliers in Waterford, €163m to Wexford and €159m to Tipperary.
Glanbia Co-op is the largest buyer and user of Irish grain at 250,000 tonnes in 2021, with excellent yields and strong prices for crops. Over €2 million in premiums was paid over and above the feed price to farmers for the 2021 harvest.
With the launch of its comprehensive sustainability strategy ‘Living Proof’ in 2021, the AGM heard there was a strong emphasis on sustainability across every element of its food and feed supply chain.
A new three-year Sustainability Action Programme offers €18 million a year to dairy suppliers to assist the Co-op’s 5,000 milk suppliers as they continue to enhance the environmental and economic sustainability of their family farms.
During 2021, Co-op Member support payments amounted to €28.1 million, including the Trading Bonus Scheme which rewarded 4,900 Members for trading with the agribusiness that they own.
The Board has confirmed the 2022 Trading Bonus Scheme will continue to reward farmer Members of the Co-op for purchases made from Glanbia Ireland and its subsidiaries across 2022.
Share interest (dividend)
Members approved a Share Interest (dividend) payment totalling €6.5 million or 17.3 cent per share, payable to Members on the Share Register at that date. This is an increase of 5% on the previous year’s payment.
There has been a 65% rise in the Co-op dividend payment since 2017. All members – both active and retired - also continued to benefit from share interest.
First Published: 25 May 2022