Dairygold’s much debated milk supply agreement and plan for the future “was not something done on the back of a cigarette case overnight,” chief executive Jim Woulfe told shareholders last week at Ovens in Mid-Cork.
The attendance of about 200 shareholders indicated that many want clarification and reassurance from co-op directors, regarding the road ahead.
On milk supply agreements, Mr Woulfe said, “What we don’t want in the future is to commit to an over-investment and discover that the milk doesn’t come, or an under-investment and then be in a position where we are unable to handle the volume.
“It’s critical to be able to match the processing requirements with the volume of milk supplied.
“So, from this prospective, we must have some agreement with you.
“The milk supply agreement is in your interest, in that it gives a clear commitment from you to us, and we in turn can also commit ourselves to you the supplier.
“The agreement is not entrapment, as some might suggest, but a clear commitment.”
One local farmer summed up the feelings of many concerned shareholders in the debate at Ovens, saying, “I wonder does the board realise that a lot of the fear being mentioned out there regarding the milk purchase agreement is to do with the fact that it is a business contract.
“It’s a legal document, which you talk about understanding before you sign it. There is a lot of language in it that would make people wonder what exactly they are signing.
“How could it be called an agreement in this situation, whereby if you don’t sign it, there is a 2c per litre penalty?”
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