Kerry Co-op, the largest shareholder of Kerry Group plc, is sending its 2,900 members who supply milk a survey on their future production plans.
The co-op has engaged Irish Farm Accounts Cooperative (ifac) to undertake the survey on its behalf. Members are asked to complete it by Wednesday 20 December.
Kerry Co-op chair Denis Carroll said in a letter to members this week that the board is working diligently to evaluate future strategic options for Kerry Co-Op and that the survey “is an important listening and fact-validation exercise for some options under review”.
Results and analysis of the survey are expected in early spring, at which point key findings will be shared with members.
Earlier this year, a group of Kerry milk suppliers set up a producer organisation to represent their own strategic interests.
As well as being unhappy with the milk price they have been paid this year, the group has concerns around discussions between Kerry Co-op and Kerry Group in relation to a sale, or partial sale, of Kerry’s Irish dairy business to the co-op.
The suppliers are also open to looking for another processor for their milk, a possibility which may be some of the motivation behind this week’s survey.
Kerry Co-op has seen the value of its main asset - an approximately 11.5% shareholder of Kerry plc - drop in value by more than €200m so far this year - following a more than €600m drop in 2022 - as the Kerry shares continue their disappointing run.