NI dairy farm­ers cast vote on merger

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY MAR­GARET CAN­NING

OVER 1,000 North­ern Ire­land dairy farm­ers will get the op­por­tu­nity to vote to­day on whether a merger be­tween their co-ops Lake­land and Lac­patrick should go ahead.

Dairy farm­ers who sup­ply Lac­Patrick have been asked to at­tend a meet­ing in Cook­stown to vote on the merger, while sup­pli­ers to Lake­land have been asked to vote in Ca­van.

A union of the two all-ire­land co-op­er­a­tives, Lake­land Dairies in Ca­van and Lac­patrick based in Mon­aghan, is ex­pected to form an en­tity with the sec­ond-big­gest milk pool on the is­land at 1.8 bil­lion litres. The new en­tity will use the name of Lake­land Dairies.

Lake­land has 750 sup­plier farms in North­ern Ire­land, while Lac­patrick has 600.

The boards of the co-ops gave their unan­i­mous ap­proval to the plans ear­lier this month.

Lake­land chair­man Alo Duffy has urged its mem­bers to vote for the merger.

“This merger pro­posal is a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity for both co-op­er­a­tives to con­tinue their strong progress in a very mean­ing­ful way.

“By sup­port­ing the merger, share­hold­ers will achieve a great good for co-op­er­a­tive dairy farm­ing.

“The new so­ci­ety will con­tinue to be farmer owned and farmer con­trolled while pay­ing a sus­tain­able and com­pet­i­tive milk price in line with mar­ket con­di­tions into the fu­ture. That is our ab­so­lute pri­or­ity through­out this de­vel­op­ment.”

The pro­posed merger is the lat­est shake-up in Lac­patrick. Three years ago Town of Mon­aghan Co-op took over Bal­lyrashane Cream­ery in Co Antrim, lead­ing to a re­brand as Lac­patrick.

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