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Minister Coveney launches Glanbia Teagasc ‘Financial Planning Programme’ Programme to be rolled out to all Glanbia milk suppliers who intend to expand

The Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food,  Simon Coveney, TD, today officiated at the launch of a joint Glanbia Teagasc 'Financial Training Programme' aimed at Glanbia milk suppliers who are considering the possibility of expanding milk production post 2015.  The Minister launched this Programme, which is to be rolled out to all Glanbia suppliers over this autumn/winter period, on the farm of Anthony and Lisa Barrett, Longwood, Co. Meath.

Jim Bergin, Chief Executive of Glanbia Dairy Ingredients Ireland speaking at the launch said, “The abolition of the milk quota regime will be the catalyst for significant growth on Irish dairy farms. Results from a recent Glanbia farmer survey indicate that a considerable number of our suppliers are considering expansion. The ability of farmers to be able to plan effectively and to execute their growth ambitions with manageable financial commitments is critical for all stakeholders in the industry. Similar to any other business, the completion of a financial plan which can be stress tested for different possibilities, is critical.  

The roll out will consist of a series of workshops where Glanbia suppliers will be trained by Teagasc personnel both on the elements of good financial planning and on how to use a financial planning toolkit.  We are pleased to partner with Teagasc in the provision of this service to our suppliers. The concept builds on a similar initiative we operated with Teagasc in 2006 which was well received by suppliers at that time.”

Speaking in Longwood, County Meath today, Minister Coveney said, “ The dairy industry is gearing up for significant expansion following the abolition of quotas in 2015, and the challenge will be to ensure that such expansion is profitable for operators at all levels of the supply chain,  and sustainable in the context of potentially increased price volatility on global markets. This financial training programme demonstrates the best kind of co-operation between suppliers, processors and Teagasc, and will assist farmers in improving their financial management skills and increasing their business orientation. It is a model for collaborative action which can be built upon and used as a template for the dairy sector, and indeed for the agri food sector generally.”

Teagasc Director Professor Gerry Boyle said, “We are delighted to be involved in this joint initiative with Glanbia. One of the key lessons from the Teagasc Greenfield dairy programme has been the importance of cash flow to the expanding dairy business.  Failure to prepare a carefully costed expansion budget, combined with a failure to adhere to and monitor the budget, will increase the financial risk to the expansion initiative.  The risk of milk and input price volatility also needs to be considered in all financial projections. This series of workshops for Glanbia milk suppliers will increase the awareness of the key financial risks, and the options and tools available to manage cash flow in an expansion scenario.“

This Programme is intended to provide a strong basis from which individual farmers can engage with their normal farm advisory service – however it does not include the provision of financial advice and suppliers will be encouraged to avail of financial advice as required.