Glanbia paid Kilkenny farmers €168m for milk last year: AGM
FARMER suppliers in Kilkenny received €168 million in milk payments from Glanbia last year.
The huge economic contribution of dairy farming to the rural economy was highlighted at the Glanbia Co-op AGM in Kilkenny this week.
The AGM heard that in 2018 the Kilkenny-based company paid approximately €1 billion, including VAT, for milk directly to 4,500 farmer suppliers across rural Ireland.
Glanbia Ireland CEO Jim Bergin said this delivered a direct boost to the economies of towns and villages in rural Ireland, with payments worth €149m in Co Waterford, €124m in Co Tipperary and €122m in Co Wexford.
“The 5.1% growth in milk supply in 2018 was worth over €47m extra in payments last year which has an impact on the economies of rural Ireland and our suppliers’ farms,” Mr Bergin said.
Milk supplies to Glanbia Ireland are now at 2.7 billion litres per year, with supply reaching 88 million litres per week at peak this year, compared to around 45 million per week in 2014.
In line with the growth in milk volume, Glanbia has invested €343 million in processing capacity, including investments in the Belview milk powder plant and in cheese processing in Wexford.
Many milk suppliers turned out for the AGM held in the Newpark Hotel, Co Kilkenny. Among those in attendance were Group Managing Director, Siobhán Talbot; Finance Director, Mark Garvey; CEO of Glanbia Ireland, Jim Bergin; Group Secretary, Michael Horan, Chairman Martin Keane and the two Vice Chairmen John Murphy and Pat Murphy.
The AGM was told that Glanbia Ireland recognises the importance of ensuring that Ireland’s water quality is protected.
Glanbia Chairman Martin Keane said that 100% of milk now comes from dairy farms accredited to Bord Bia’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS). He also highlighted the fact that Glanbia was instrumental in the establishment of Dairy Sustainability Ireland, where the industry and State agencies are collaborating to achieve improvements in water quality.
Glanbia Co-op Members benefited from a strong dividend last year, with a total of €14.8m paid out to Members (39 cent per share). This included an Ordinary Dividend of 13c, plus a Special Dividend of 26c as approved by Members their 2017 Special General Meeting in Punchestown.
The AGM approved Share Interest (Dividend) of 15 cent per share for 2019, which is 15% higher than the previous year. At a Special General Meeting post the AGM, Members approved the creation of a €30 million Support Fund and the distribution of 13.5 cent per share (c.€5 million) in Share Interest (Special Dividend) to be paid no later than December 30, 2020.
The meeting also heard about the range of supports offered by Glanbia to its Members in a challenging 2018, including a very successful Extended Credit Scheme where €20m of interest-free cashflow support was drawn down by farmers.
Over €14m was paid through the 2018 Trading Bonus Scheme, which returns a share of Glanbia Ireland’s profits to active farmers. In total, Glanbia Co-op made support payments of €43 million to Members in 2018.