The agreement has been approved by the boards and members of both cooperatives.
Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge and North Cork already work closely together in a commercial dairy processing arrangement whereby North Cork Creameries processes milk into a range of products for Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge.
No effect on jobs
The businesses of both cooperatives will be merged with all current milk collection and processing arrangements continuing as normal.
Members of Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge Co-operative will become full members of North Cork Co-operative.
The chairman and vice-chairman of Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge Co-operative will also join the board of North Cork Co-operative.
The board of Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge will continue in an advisory capacity for 12 months to oversee transition arrangements.
A spokesperson for North Cork told DairyReporter “there will be no specific effect on employment or facilities other than generally increased and ongoing efficiency.”
Michael Mangan, chairman of Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge Co-operative said the combination of both cooperatives will strengthen the dairy industry throughout the region, and will “underpin the future success of our business.”
Martin O’Keeffe, chairman of North Cork Co-operative Creameries said the deal offers prospects for further secure growth and sustainability for dairy farmers.
“It will reinforce our commitment to pay the highest possible milk price to milk producers through continuing efficiency and excellence in everything we do,” O’Keeffe said.
“We have made substantial investments in the most modern facilities to meet the milk processing needs of our dairy farmers and the long term requirements of our customers for high quality dairy products and food ingredients.
“We look forward to working closely with our colleagues in Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge to further progress our co-operative success in the years ahead.”
North Cork Creameries processes more 250m liters of milk annually into a range of value-added dairy products and functional food ingredients, including 12.5m liters of milk supplied by producers of Feale Bridge & Headley Bridge Co-op.
The merger is subject to approval by Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.