There is growing dissatisfaction among independent milk collection hauliers contracted by Kerry Group over proposed changes to drivers’ schedules.

Kerry Group has insisted its milk collection structures have not changed but the company admitted that a “haulage efficiency project” is being undertaken.

The hauliers are reported to be unhappy with new work schedules being proposed by Kerry Group, and with the manner in which their collection routes are being structured.

There have also been unconfirmed reports of established milk hauliers ending their association with Kerry Group.

The Irish Farmers Journal asked Kerry Group if this was the case, but the company did not directly respond to the query.


However, a spokesperson for the company did state that: “There has been no change to Kerry Group milk collection structures or to how milk haulage is contracted. We are currently in the early stages of scoping a milk haulage efficiency project and will communicate any structural changes in due course if the need arises.”

One haulier who the Irish Farmers Journal talked to maintained that efforts to change collection schedules and routes had resulted in some drivers “pulling the plug”.

He explained that at the moment drivers have their own established routes, and collect from the same farms on given days. However, the proposed changes would mean the introduction of a more fluid system, with collection routes potentially altering from day to day or week to week.

“Management have been on about this for a year or more but it has come to a head over the last month or so,” the haulier said.

“This is all about cost savings. Will hauliers’ rates be cut, I don’t know? But with all the trouble around getting lorry drivers at the moment, it seems a dodgy time to be doing this,” he said.