Governance restructuring to the fore at Ornua board meeting

Governance restructuring will be to the fore of the agenda during a meeting of the board of Ornua, which takes place today, Tuesday, August 27.

In a break from the usual, having never traditionally held a board meeting during the month of August, the board of the Irish dairy exporter is looking into changing the current structure of the board.

AgriLand understands that there are three suggestions on the table.

These are: to keep things as are; to look further into a proposal believed to have been offered by Dairygold last month; and a suggestion for a smaller board with less processor input in electing directors.

The second option, tabled previously, would see the question as to whether Ornua would convert to a limited company or remain a cooperative.

As noted previously, under the Dairygold proposal, a certain degree of ownership would be put into the hands of farmers directly, with 20% of shares in the entity – worth more than €100 million – proposed to be given to farmer suppliers of Ornua.

The cooperatives would retain the other 80% ownership in Ornua, industry sources confirmed to AgriLand.

Under the tabled proposal, a new board structure has also been fielded. This would see a board consisting of: five independent members; an Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) representative; the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) representative; and possibly a delegate from the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS).

In addition, five board members would be elected by the co-op industry that are direct processors.

Such members would be elected from an outer board consisting of the co-ops that are trading through Ornua and the co-ops that have shareholdings in the entity.