At separately held special general meetings (SGMs), the shareholders of North Cork Co-operative Creameries (Kanturk, Co. Cork) and Newtownsandes Co-operative (Moyvane, Co. Kerry) approved the merger of the two societies.
The merger had been unanimously recommended to members by their respective boards.
Due for completion in the coming months, the merger is subject to regulatory approval by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
The co-operatives are neighbouring societies that work closely together in a commercial dairy processing arrangement. North Cork Co-operative Creameries already processes 23 million litres of milk annually into a range of dairy products for Newtownsandes.
On completion of the proposed merger, the businesses of both co-operatives will be merged, with all current milk collection and processing arrangements “continuing as normal”.
North Cork Co-operative Creameries will reportedly process over 240 million litres of milk annually, with “an already well invested capacity to increase processing throughput to over 360 million litres”. This will apparently cater for ongoing expansion by milk producers across its operating region.
Both societies claim to have a long standing heritage in co-operative dairy farming. They share “mutual business development aims”.
The co-operatives have been in discussion since January about the possibility of an amalgamation.
Martin J Kennelly, chairman of Newtownsandes Co-operative, said: “We have always been very pleased with our milk supply and processing partnership with North Cork [Co-operative] Creameries and this merger will now bring us even more cohesively and productively together – creating further value for dairy farmers into the future.”
Jerry Doody, chairman of North Cork Co-operative Creameries, said it warmly welcomed the members of Newtownsandes.
This merger will drive further efficiencies for the combined businesses and will underpin a sustainable, competitive milk price in the long term and mutual best interests of all of our milk producers.
North Cork Co-operative Creameries’ dairy food ingredients include: milk powders; caseins; whey; and bulk and pre-packed butter for various food manufacturing applications. It also supplies fresh liquid milk, whipping creams and butters to multiple retailers.