A discussion group set up to highlight the importance of gender equality and diversity in the farming community has been established by Aurivo Co-operative.

The Aurivo Leading Ladies discussion group is said to provide opportunities for its members to upskill, and to be progressive and sustainable into the future, according to Aurivo general manager of dairy, Stephen Blewitt.

Commenting, he said:

“At Aurivo co-op we recognise the essential role that women play in our farming and co-operative community, as shareholders, stakeholders, employees, customers and farmer suppliers, and are committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion within all aspects of our business, including inside the farm gate.

“We are proud to launch Aurivo Leading Ladies, which will provide opportunities for members to grow and develop, as well as upskill, be progressive and sustainable into the future, enabling members not only utilise their strengths in agriculture and dairy farming but also empower them to recognise the value of their voice and opinion.”

Chief executive of the National Dairy Council, Zoe Kavanagh, who attended the launch, congratulated Aurivo for “shining a light on an important aspect of the dairy sector – gender equality and gender recognition.

“It’s important to facilitate a culture where women become more prominent across all aspect of dairy farming,” she said.

Chairperson of Aurivo, Raymond Barlow said:

“The Aurivo Leading Ladies team need to be both encouraged and enabled to grow their representation at every level, paving the way for a more diverse future which is likely to benefit all involved.”

He said the entire Irish dairy sector must embrace diversity and gender equality in order for the industry to progress, thrive and grow for many years to come.