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End Of An Extraordinary Year

GII All Co-op Dairy

As we approach the festive season we reflect on what must be one of the most extraordinary weather and productivity years in recent history of the dairy industry. We have experienced the extremes of storms, snow, long winter and the longest period of hot dry weather since 1976.

There are some very clear learnings. Firstly that Glanbia farmers know how to take care of their stock and did care for them very well through the drought. This was evidenced by the incredible milk volumes produced when the rain and grass returned. In August, Glanbia had lower milk supplies by a cumulative 2% compared with 2017 and there was a question as to how much the deficit might be at year end. The outcome since then has been amazing and we expect to end the year with milk volumes more than 5% ahead of 2017. The very important constant during the year was that the milk price remained strong and therefore the milk price to feed cost ratio was positive.

The second great learning is that when adversity presented itself, the broader organisation closed ranks so that the combination of a financially strong Co-op and Glanbia Ireland was able to put the relevant supports in place at the right time to relieve pressure on our suppliers. In addition, the front line staff of Glanbia Ireland played their critical roles in supporting farmers through feed deliveries, milk collections, milk deliveries to customers, opening branches and opening factories in the challenging weather conditions. Later on through the drought, timely purchases of forage from other countries and technical workshops on animal nutrition proved very beneficial.

Thankfully the swell of milk has enabled our suppliers to recover financially and with the support of the Extended Credit scheme, find themselves in a more manageable position than might have been expected in early autumn.

In view of the huge volumes received it is incumbent on me to mention the heroic role played by the Glanbia Ireland commercial team in successfully selling the increased and unplanned volumes into what has been an unreceptive market in recent months.

Growth since 2009

In recent days we have had the opportunity with our Board and Advisory Council to review the performance of the Glanbia organisation, suppliers and workforce since 2009. The achievement since then in growth terms is staggering.

First Published 18 December 2018

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