New study shows Tirlán drives €5.5 billion of economic activity


Pictured at the first Tirlán AGM taking place at the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny were (LtoR) Chairman John Murphy, alongside shareholders Richard and Laura Forbes who operate a family dairy farm in Tallow, Co Waterford, and Tirlán CEO Jim Bergin.


Tirlán (formerly Glanbia Ireland and Glanbia Co-op), Ireland’s leading farmer-owned food and nutrition business, has today published an Economic Impact Study by independent consultants EY, showing that the co-operative generated total economic activity of €5.5 billion in 2022 and supported over 19,200 direct and indirect jobs through its operations in Ireland.

The results of the assessment were announced at Tirlán’s first Annual General Meeting that took place today and follows the formal creation of Tirlán last year, arising from the acquisition of the remaining 40% of Glanbia Ireland from Glanbia plc, to create a 100% farmer owned independent co-operative.

The Economic Impact Study sets out the economic footprint of Tirlán’s agribusiness, consumer, and ingredients operations at local and national levels. Tirlán now exports to over 100 countries, with its portfolio including many of Ireland’s best known and most loved Irish brands, such as Avonmore, Kilmeaden, Premier, Wexford, GAIN Animal Nutrition and its portfolio of tailored ingredient solutions.

The study shows total economic activity of €5.5 billion in 2022 generated through revenue, expenditure across production, employment activities and, in particular, the record milk and grain prices which saw over €2 billion paid to more than 5,000 farm families. In addition, the report uniquely reflects how these payments drive a burgeoning rural economy as farm families purchase their necessary goods and services from local suppliers.

The analysis clearly demonstrates Tirlán’s role as a major driver of employment accounting for over 19,200 direct and indirect jobs spread throughout the company’s operations in 17 counties and rural communities of Ireland. This total figure includes over 2,230 people directly employed by Tirlán at its 11 high-tech processing facilities, 52 agri-branches, offices and farm advisory network, with an additional 6,700 people employed in the farm supplier base.

The remainder of the indirect jobs are located across a range of different parts of the economy such as logistics, retail and machinery sales. These findings underpin the relevance and importance of agriculture as Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and as a significant driver of employment in rural areas.

The report also highlights the scale of Tirlán’s capital investments, with €90 million spent in 2022 to upgrade facilities across the business. The €90m capital expenditure figure also includes a contribution towards the investment in the €200m continental cheese facility, Ireland’s largest ever dairy investment, that is under construction in South Kilkenny with partners Royal A-Ware and due to be commissioned early next year.

Speaking at the Tirlán Annual General Meeting in relation to the Economic Impact Study, Tirlán Chairman, John Murphy, said: “This Economic Impact Study sets out the scale of Tirlán’s economic contribution, employment footprint, and role in both national and rural economies. Its importance is demonstrated by the fact that for every €1 Tirlán earns in revenue, €1.80 is generated in the wider economy.

“The EY study demonstrates the huge impact of agricultural activity across the rural economy, it is a tribute to our farmers as excellent business people and technical managers – something that our policy makers should not take for granted.”

Tirlán CEO, Jim Bergin, highlighted the local jobs and livelihoods that the co-operative supports directly and indirectly in rural communities across the country.

Jim Bergin commented, “We are conscious of the impact our organisation has on the national and rural economies and, along with our suppliers and workforce, are committed to continue to support the national and rural economies while also delivering on our purpose of ‘Nourishing lives in balance with nature’.

“There is a great responsibility on policy makers, co-op leaders and our farmers to work positively together and we are determined to identify the opportunities to protect this great industry and to ensure the sustainability of our farm families into the future.”

Tirlán’s Living Proof sustainability strategy provides a clear roadmap as the business continues to work together with its farmers to further enhance sustainability across the supply chain and assess renewable energy opportunities. In 2022, Tirlán launched a €54 million three-year Sustainability Action Payment programme which has seen farmers embrace new sustainability technologies.


Click below to access the Tirlán Economic Impact Assessment


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