Niall Moore

Waterford dairy farmer

“I’m in favour in principle of the co-op buying Glanbia Ireland. The co-op can’t keep spending €20m topping up milk price which without co-op support would not be competitive.

“The core problem is the 3.2% profit that must be returned to the shareholders at the plc’s insistence.

“I have concerns about the 4% of plc shareholding earmarked for an investment fund. The 3% already at the board’s discretion is more than enough.

“A well-run company should be able to fund investments through borrowings, not share sales.”

Tom Short

Wicklow, dairy and tillage farmer

“I see very little negativity around the proposal. We should be trying to get the very top price for our commodity. We have been in the second or third division. If this means that we get the best price, that’s a positive, but it’s important that we the deal is priced correctly.

“As cereal farmers we’ve done well in the last few years, whereas we weren’t getting a good price previously. Let’s get the proper price for milk, grain and inputs.”

John Bryan

Kilkenny' dairy and beef farmer and former IFA president

“There are two things. I’m not against the idea of buying it out but I have question marks over the valuation because it’s based on a low milk price paid by Glanbia that had to be topped-up by the co-op.

“It was still one of the lowest [prices] out there.

“My biggest concern, however, is that they are going to the shareholders when the share price is so low to be looking for permission to sell 15% of our shares.

“With the 3% discretion and a small borrowing, that should be adequate to purchase without reverting to the shareholders.

“They should consult though a public meeting with suppliers and shareholders and if it has to be delayed due to COVID-19, then they should wait.”

Shane O’Loughlin

Wicklow, dairy farmer

“While this is where we want to go, farmers are questioning the price. Will borrowing €170m be a drag on milk price?

“I would like to see the co-op become more of a co-op, where active farmers have a greater say in the running of the co-op. I’d need to see evidence that this proposal will deliver on that score. The bottom line is always milk price. It’s vital we have full engagement. This is too important to be rushed through.“

Larry Hannon

Kildare, dairy farmer

“I’d broadly welcome the idea of the co-op taking full ownership. I’d view it positively. The price will be critical, and I look forward to hearing more detail.

“I don’t have a problem with the idea that the business will be funded by shareholding. This should leave Glanbia Ireland in a position to fully commit to paying a leading milk price.

“The idea of the co-op having a war chest in place for investment is good, provided that high-return investments are carefully identified.”