Kerry Co-op Creameries wants return to arbitration over milk price issue

Main shareholder in Kerry ‘disappointed’ with food group

Kerry Co-op Creameries, the main shareholder in Irish food group Kerry, said on Friday that it has been left with no choice but to "revert back to the arbitration process" in the ongoing milk price issue with Kerry Group.

In a statement, Kerry Co-op Creameries said it was “both disappointed and frustrated” with the latest comments from Kerry on the issue, noting the “angry reaction” from its members.

Earlier this week Kerry Group said it has paid the leading milk price on a like-for-like basis for milk supplied in 2015 and all subsequent years.

“There are no outstanding payments due to milk suppliers,” the taste and nutrition company said, referring to an arbitrator’s ruling in September 2019 which found that the west Cork co-operatives should be treated as comparators for the purpose of the milk contract in setting the price payable for milk supplied in 2015.


The co-op, however, says it is looking for the payment of outstanding monies up to 2020 and the payment of a top milk price into the future, and will go back to arbitration on this.

“Having assiduously explored all and every avenue with Kerry Group, the co-op is left with no other choice but to revert back to the arbitration process where Kerry Group needs to finally honour its commitments under the milk supply contract and bring this matter to a conclusion,” the co-op said.

Talks suspended

Earlier this month Kerry Group said it had suspended talks with the co-op about the possible sale of its dairy and consumer foods business in Ireland. The company had been in discussions with the co-op about a potential transaction which would have seen the legacy business, which includes the popular Dairygold, Charleville and Denny food brands, spun out in a joint venture with the co-op with a potential value of some €600 million.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times