Carbery, the umbrella company that the four west Cork dairy processing co-ops trade under, held a board meeting on Monday (14 June), where the board decided to lift milk price 1c/litre. If the individual co-ops decide to pass back this when they subsequently meet at individual co-op board level it should result in at least a 1c/litre milk price hike for milk suppliers for May milk supply. This would bring May milk price to average 33.7c/litre for the four co-ops.

Also at the meeting Cormac O’Keeffe was elected as the new chair of Carbery.

O’Keeffe, who is currently chair of Lisavaird Co-op, will succeed Drinagh's TJ Sullivan in the role.

In addition, Dermot O’Leary, chair of Bandon Co-op, has been appointed vice-chair of the organisation.

New chair

Cormac O’Keeffe, a dairy farmer from Courleigh, Clonakilty, first joined the Lisavaird board in 2006. He holds a diploma in environmental science and social policy from UCC and is a member of the Carbery Greener Dairy Farms group. He is married to Clodagh, and they have three children; James, Laoise and Eoghan.

O’Keeffe is looking forward to taking on the role, saying: “Being appointed chairperson of Carbery Group is a great honour. The company is essential to the farmers of west Cork and we are also now a significant global business. I am excited about working with my fellow board members and the management team as we continue to focus on growing the business and securing a stable future for the farmers of west Cork and the 900 Carbery employees worldwide.”

Challenging term

O’Keeffe also recognised the work of outgoing Chair TJ Sullivan, stating: “TJ has had a more challenging term than anyone could have imagined in dealing with the sudden arrival of COVID-19 and all that managing that situation has entailed.

"Despite the circumstances, under his tenure Carbery acquired Innova Flavors in the US and successfully completed our €78m cheese diversification project and expansion. On behalf of the board and the shareholders, I thank him sincerely for his work during his term and wish him all the best.”

Drinagh co-op will elect a new chair and vice-chair on Tuesday, with both to assume a place on the Carbery board.

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