Glanbia directors each paid €85,000 last year

Sums paid to 14 individuals significantly more than previously thought

The Glanbia plant in Belview, County Kilkenny. GII is the State’s largest milk processor  and is jointly owned by the plc and the co-op. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The Glanbia plant in Belview, County Kilkenny. GII is the State’s largest milk processor and is jointly owned by the plc and the co-op. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

 

Glanbia’s board of directors were paid €85,000 each last year significantly more than previously thought, the company has confirmed.

The 14 individuals involved, who are nominated by different regional sections of the co-op, sit on the boards of Glanbia plc, Glanbia co-op and Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII).

GII is the State’s largest milk processor, processing around 2 billion litres of milk annually, and is jointly owned by the plc and the co-op.

The issue of directors’ fees is understood to have been raised at Glanbia Co-op’s annual general meeting last week. A spokesman for the company said there was a robust governance structure in place at Glanbia.

“There is a transparent and independent process to determine directors’ fees based on international best practice which ensures that there are robust governance structures across all three Glanbia entities,” he said.

Committees

“The governance structures in Glanbia which decide on the appropriate level of fees paid to directors includes independent directors, audit and remuneration committees, with the level of fees separately and independently reviewed by external consultants every three years,” he added.

None of the co-op appointed directors had any role in setting the fees that they receive, the spokesman said.

In 2015, the 14 individuals involved attended 56 board meetings along with various other council and regional committee meetings.

Earlier this week, Glanbia announced a reduction in the number of non-executive directors on the board of its plc from 14 to 10 for 2016 and 2017.

Tom Grant, Brendan Hayes, Patrick Hogan and Eamon Power have accordingly retired as directors of Glanbia plc with immediate effect,” a company statement said.

The issue of pay and remuneration has become a hot topic in the farming sector since the debacle involving the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) last year.

Directors at Ornua, the State’s largest dairy exporter, are understood to be paid around €36,000 annually. Their work is said to be not comparable to that done by Glanbia directors.

Glanbia’s top four executives received handsome pay hikes last year on foot of another strong year for the Kilkenny-based food group following the lifting of EU milk quotas.

Managing director Siobhan Talbot saw her total pay packet rise 16 per cent to nearly €1.9 million in 2015. Her remuneration included a basic salary of €750,000, a bonus of €563,000 and a pension contribution of €199,000.