Farmer anger at speculation and the lack of information on what shape any future deal between Kerry Co-op and Kerry Group will take is boiling over in Kerry.
Farmers have been in contact with the Irish Farmers Journal all morning suggesting they don’t need the see the detail just yet, but what they really want is a vision of the big picture and what key issues are under discussion.
IFA president Tim Cullinan said it is critical that farmers who supply Kerry Co-op are fully consulted on a joint venture before any deal is finalised.
“The proposed joint venture is a huge decision for Kerry Co-op. Any such arrangement will have a significant impact on milk suppliers. Farmers have to be fully consulted prior to any deal,” he said.
Leading milk price
Following the revelation that former chair of Kerry Co-op James Doyle was reopening arbitration on the "leading milk price issue" Kerry Co-op has outlined where it stands on the matter.
"Regarding media reports that Kerry milk suppliers are returning to arbitration, Kerry Co-op’s formal position is as follows: as the designated representative of all milk suppliers, Kerry Co-operative Creameries Limited wishes to confirm that it is not supporting any current legal action concerning the arbitration process.”
From this statement it appears that the board of Kerry Co-op is not going to finance a reopening of the arbitration case. So where does this leave James Doyle?
When contacted by the Irish Farmers Journal late on Wednesday night, Doyle said: “I was chairman when all this started and I have all the documentation and minutes of meetings, etc.
"The case will go ahead irrespective of what the co-op thinks – if the farmers have to fund it themselves then that’s what we’ll do. This is not a new case.”
The Kerry Co-op board is meeting this Thursday morning and we have reports of angry farmers gathering at various venues to discuss the new information unfolding.