Labour management course made available to Aurivo suppliers

A new labour management course for Aurivo dairy suppliers has recently been coordinated in conjunction with Teagasc and Macra Skillnet .

A statement from the north-west based co-op outlined that the abolition of milk quotas in 2015 was a turning point for the Irish dairy industry as many farmers seized the opportunity to expand their enterprise and increase production capacity.

According to Aurivo, the course was designed to help its suppliers manage and motivate employees and to put in place an overall management structure, as farmers now manage employees on the farm as part of business operations.

The statement added that attracting and retaining labour to work on farms is an area that the dairy industry is struggling with.

As dairy farming continues to grow, the need for the provision of labour is becoming increasingly important for farmers and the requirement to pursue a sustainable business model which will in turn facilitate an appropriate work-life balance.

Commenting on the new course, Aurivo’s farm profitability manager, Vincent Griffith, said: “Our dairy farms have seen significant growth in terms of the scale of their businesses since the abolition of milk quotas in 2015.

As a result, many of our milk suppliers have employed people to work on their farms. This can be a daunting challenge for farmers as many have never had to manage employees in their business before.

“Although challenging, when managed correctly, employing staff can lead to opportunities such as increased productivity on the farm, creating employment in rural areas and a reduced workload for the farm owner.”

A total of 22 Aurivo suppliers participated in the first roll out of the course which took place over a five-week period.

The course was facilitated by Dr. Nollaig Heffernan, an independent management consultant who specialises in the dairy industry.

The Workplace Relations Commission and Teagasc specialists also contributed to the course.

Aurivo will co-host the labour management course again in the autumn for its suppliers who did not secure a place on the first course.

Speaking about the course, Oisin Gill, an Aurivo milk supplier from Hollymount, Co. Mayo said: “Farming has progressed a lot over the last number of years and as farmers we have to progress to.

As our family farm continues to grow, it’s important that we have the structure and system in place to manage our employees and make our farm as efficient as possible.

“Bringing in a new employee into the family farm adds further requirements into the management of the farm, but the benefits of additional labour is helping us grow a sustainable business.

“I would encourage all Aurivo dairy suppliers in the region to take part in the course this autumn.”

Aurivo’s sustainability manager, Roberta McDonald, said: “Sustainability is embedded into everything we do at Aurivo – from our farms and our processes to our communities.

We support farm families to ensure their business develops sustainably, by enriching their environment, local communities and being financially viable.

McDonald concluded: “Having the confidence and skills to be sustainable is essential to supporting a work-life balance now and for future generations.”