Tirlán’s future success will be defined by the co-op’s young farmers
Tirlán suppliers have shown exceptional resilience over the past year in the face of higher costs, weaker grain and dairy markets and periods of extreme weather, Chairperson, John Murphy, acknowledged as he addressed recent Farmer Information Sessions held in communities throughout the Tirlán catchment area.
He said that the current dairy market outlook was more positive and also drew attention to the new opportunities available within Tirlán’s representative structure and encouraged interested farmers to get involved.
“The newly created Tirlán Governance Academy is aimed at building knowledge, increasing confidence and creating social connection at all levels of the membership structure.”
The benefit of gender diversity was also recognised at the meetings. “The co-op is taking steps to become a more diverse and inclusive organisation,” he added.
The changes approved at the special general meeting (SGM) in October 2023 will result in the creation of three new designated seats for females on all regional committees and one new seat per region on council. The chairperson encouraged anyone interested in taking part to put their names forward.
He also said: “Tirlán’s future success will be defined by the co-op’s young farmers so we are establishing Young Farmer Groups across the Tirlán catchment area. These groups aim to build a two-way communication channel between young farmers and their co-op.”
Jim Bergin, Tirlán CEO said that Tirlán is close to completing the new €200 million Kilkenny Cheese plant at Belview, which is a joint venture with Royal A-ware from the Netherlands and that the co-op continues to welcome new entrants to milk production.
Tirlán confirmed that over €6 million will be paid out to farmers in the coming weeks for the 2023 Trading Bonus scheme. This 0.25c/L bonus is paid to dairy farmers that spend more than 8c/L with their own co-op. The Trading Bonus will be retained at the same rate in 2024, the CEO added.
One significant change is that protected urea purchases count as double this year. This change is designed to encourage increased uptake of protected urea, which is very effective at reducing the carbon footprint of milk production.
Mr Bergin said that indications are that the weighted average milk price for 2023 will be 43.61 cpl, down from a high of 63 cpl in 2022. It has been a difficult year on so many fronts, he added, but Tirlán still processed 3.1 billion litres of milk, its profit percentage is in line with previous years and the co-op’s year end bank debt is at its lowest level since 2013.
Seán Molloy, Chief Ingredients & Agri Officer at Tirlán, said that the Co-op had a good year, albeit in the face of lots of challenges and thanked customers for their loyalty.
Addressing the €11 million investment to upgrade and rebranding of Tirlán’s 52-strong local branch network he said: “It’s really great to see where we made those investments, the very positive impact they had in the local area and indeed the great support we had in the local areas for the open days and for the continuing trade that followed.
“This encourages us greatly to ensure that we have that vibrant branch network as part of our offering to our customers.”
Watch Tirlán Farmer Information Webinar Below | January 2024
First Published 30 January 2024