A Butter War

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Just when most milk producers thought that the dairy processors were getting their act together in terms of cooperating in order to pass

profit back to the primary producer, there comes news that a new IDB-sponsored, state-of-the-art butter manufacturing facility is to be built at the Dairygold site in Mitchelstown. The IDB, in its wisdom, turned down the opportunity to develop a plant at Belview, adjacent to the new Glanbia milk processing facility. The IDB also passed on an offer from Glanbia to use a new butter processing plant already in operation at Ballyragget. It’s 52 years since Tony O’Reilly received advice when taking on the role of General Manager of An Bord Bainne from the Chairman of the Board, Paddy Power: “The one thing you should know about the co-op movement in Ireland is that you will get shag all cooperation from it.” The French sum it up well, ‘plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Without doubt, Kevin Lane is another dynamic force at the head of the IDB. Dairy farmers must hope that decisions taken are at all times in the best interest of the industry and the primary producers. Otherwise the producers  will ultimately pay in terms of a lower price for their litre of milk.