The shareholders of Lakeland Dairies have voted in favour of adopting new rules aimed at modernising the co-operative.

At a special general meeting (SGM) held in Cavan on Tuesday, some 98% of Lakeland Dairies members voted for a suite of changes to the co-op’s rule book.

These included:

  • Promotion of diverse membership and governance participation.
  • Ensure meetings are held in a manner that encourages attendance and participation by our diverse members.
  • Introduction of postal, electronic and hybrid voting for elections of members of the Lakelands board.
  • Updating of language in the rules to reflect a modern society such as chairperson replacing chairman.
  • Opportunity

    Speaking following the vote at the SGM, Lakeland Dairies’ chair Niall Matthews said it is “one of the most transformative times in the history of the co-operative movement”.

    Chair of Lakeland Dairies Niall Matthews with Elaine Weir, dairy farmer and joint shareholder from Rathfriland, Co Down during the Lakeland Dairies, Special General Meeting in Cavan on Tuesday afternoon.

    “We are seeing considerable change coming to farming and with change comes opportunity. I’m a firm believer that having as many voices as possible from diverse backgrounds within our co-operative helps continually to foster progressive ideas and strategies.

    “We are a modern co-op with a large supplier base. Therefore, I am also pleased to see the option for in-person as well as hybrid voting for board elections being carried.

    "We want to ensure that every eligible shareholder has a voice in an election for their board and this will help farmers have options on how to vote – which is a critical component of a democratic co-operative,” he said.