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the white stuff

Nine executives at dairy giant paid over €9 million

The payment was criticised by TD Martin Ferris.

NINE EXECUTIVES AT dairy exporter Ornua – formerly the Irish Dairy Board – were paid over €9 million between 2014 and 2015.

That’s according to the Ornua annual report, which shows that the executives earned €4.4m in 2014 and €4.8m in 2015. This includes basic salary, performance-related bonus, benefits, pension contribution and PRSI.

The pay was criticised by Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris, who said “it was hard to take in the middle of such a crisis for dairy farmers struggling to keep their heads above water”.

“There is no one saying at all that anyone has done anything wrong, but I know that if I was fielding calls from the bank and selling my milk for less than it is taking me to produce it, I would be very angry at such a bonanza for the bosses of a dairy co-op,” said Ferris.

The company said that it was publishing the figures in the interest of full transparency.

Speaking to RTÉ Six One News, Pat McCormack, deputy president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, said that while transparency is welcome, “Irish farmers are struggling to break even”.

Ornua reported a strong 2015, with CEO Kevin Lane saying:

Ornua delivered a strong financial performance in 2015, with significant increases in profit and turnover. Group EBITDA increased by 18% to €58.8 million. This result includes a €9 million increase in brand and market development investment which now totals €45 million, and significant product price support to its members. Group turnover increased by 9% to €2.5 billion.

However, Ornua noted that last year was “a challenging year across the world’s major dairy-producing regions”, due to a combination of strong supply and demand weakness.

Ornua announced today that it is suspending its monthly milk levy from 1 May 2016, which it hopes “will go some way towards supporting farming families at this time”.

Read: Farmers put pay scandal behind them and elect new IFA president>

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