The investments made over the past decade have enhanced the capability and efficiency of Lakeland Daires, according to its CEO, Michael Hanley.

In Hanley’s Christmas and new-year message to milk suppliers, he explained that the co-op is adding value to milk across the 240 different dairy products that it is exporting to over 80 countries worldwide.

Continuing, he outlined: “While the markets and dairying conditions in general tend to be volatile on a cyclical basis; our production and processing platform is built on the core principle of achieving and maintaining long-term sustainability in the best interests of dairy farmers.”

Michael Hanley

Hanley explained that: “Conditions remained broadly positive during the year with a softening of the markets apparent in recent months due to increased global dairy production.”

He noted that in October this year, the shareholders of both Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick Dairies voted resoundingly in favour of a merger of both societies.

He said: “The merger will serve to strengthen our UK market access in the context of Brexit.

The prospects for dairy markets in 2019 are dependent on a balance of milk supply and demand in global markets.

Hanley expressed his thanks to the chairman, board, regional committees, milk producers and shareholders for their ongoing support and encouragement throughout the past year. He gave a particular mention to his management team and the staff of Lakeland Dairies “for their dedication and commitment”.

This has been a historic and momentous year.

“Lakeland Dairies is a farmer owned and farmer controlled co-operative where the business is designed and built to create economic advantage for milk producers and shareholders.”

Concluding, Hanley said: “Our strategic priority will always be to achieve sustainable profitable dairy farming. We will therefore continue to drive competitiveness and overall growth as a constantly efficient and high performance business.”