DEAR SIR: After much speculation on the above topic, I commend the Irish Farmers Journal on opening a discussion forum. I am now a dry shareholder who supplied milk for 40 years. I bought into this co-op from the beginning and welcome this opportunity to give my viewpoint. I wish to highlight the following:
Over 75% of Kerry Co-op shareholders are not milk suppliers. Why should we pay for milk processing facilities? I am not a charity buying milk processing for milk suppliers. Raising this money is not my concern. It should not be my money. Even accepting 5.9 as the ratio, I am accepting giving away the €70m held in cash and nearly another €100m in share value; €170m is more than one-third of the €480m required to buy the 60% shareholding. I don’t think it is too much to ask that the milk suppliers finance the other two-thirds required to buy milk processing for themselves.
Let the next generation of farmers take ownership and responsibility of their business. Let those of us who have helped bring the co-op to where it is today reap the rewards.