This week Eoin Lowry begins to tease out the details of Glanbia’s proposal that the co-op buys a 60% shareholding in the consumer foods and agribusiness divisions.

At this early stage in the process, the first question worth asking is whether farmers see value in selling down their shareholding in what has proven to be a highly profitable plc in order to take more control of a consumer foods and agri inputs business with lower margins. Ultimately, farmers will need to be convinced ahead of the vote that increased ownership of these businesses will lead to increased return, either in the form of a leading milk and grain price or competitively priced farm inputs.