IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Kevin Kiersey urged all members of Wexford Milk Producers (WMP) to inform themselves on the proposed purchase of Wexford Creameries by GIIL as recommended by the WMP Board, and to make sure to attend the SGM to have their say in the vote convened for members to make that decision.
“We have had a number of meetings and discussions with Wexford Milk Producers and Wexford Creamery management, and with GIIL, over the last number of months, and many of the concerns raised by us on behalf of Wexford dairy farmers have been addressed in the final proposal. IFA believe that the deal represents a real opportunity for Wexford milk producers to secure their future, to maximise their milk price and growth opportunities,” Mr Kiersey said.
“IFA also sees this proposed move as a necessary step in the further consolidation of the Irish dairy industry, which has the potential to improve significantly the outlook for income and sustainability for all milk producers in the region – not just Wexford farmers. It is a fact that the buy-out will result in a significant improvement in the milk price available to Wexford farmers, but it will also bring very valuable cheese processing and whey generation capacity to the bigger entity,” he said.
“Wexford milk producers are being asked to make a long term exclusive commitment to supplying GIIL after the buyout. While this provides Wexford farmers with valuable security of tenure, enhanced by free 50% additional expansion capacity, flexibility must be shown in genuine circumstances. The interests of milk producers, especially on milk prices and input costs, must remain at the forefront of decisions made by WMP and GIIL,” he stated.
“WMP members have in recent days received correspondence outlining the details of the proposed buy-out, the financial value and other implications for themselves, and the provisions of the new milk supply agreement. Furthermore, producers have been invited to participate in an information workshop later this week, and IFA has been assured that one-to-one engagement will take place thereafter with any supplier who still has concerns. I urge all WMP suppliers to take the time to inform themselves, and to turn out to vote next Tuesday,” he concluded.