IRELAND – Lakeland Dairies, the second-largest dairy processing co-operative on the island of Ireland,  has reported a 20% increase in revenues to a record level of €1.3bn (US$1.36 billion) for the 2021. 

The record performance was delivered by strong perfomance across the cooperative’s four operating divisions of Food Ingredients, Foodservice, Consumer Foods, and Agribusiness.

This achievement has been attributed to significant economies of scale, benefiting from strategic investments of recent years in technology, automation, and lean operation across the processing footprint.

Over the past decade, Lakeland has invested over €200 million (US$208.63 million) in new facilities and technologies, increasing milk supplies and processing capacity in its processing facilities.

Its growth dates back to when Lakeland acquired Lacpatrick Dairies in April 2019 to form Ireland’s second-biggest co-operative, with a franchise stretching across 16 counties, north and south.

The move pushed revenues at the newly enlarged business to €1.03 billion (US$1.07billion), a record for the co-operative, and a doubling of its turnover from five years previously.

Lakeland Dairies expects a relatively stable market this year. However, it admits to facing significant challenges in the operating environment, including inflationary pressure on all costs, as economic uncertainty in light of the pandemic and geopolitical issues persist.

The farmer-owned dairy processing co-operative collects 2 billion liters of milk from 3,200 farm families across 16 counties in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

 The co-operative has a portfolio of 240 different dairy products made on 8 processing sites which it exports to over 80 countries worldwide.

Meanwhile, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Lakeland Dairies, Michael Hanley, announced his decision to retire in December 2022 after 16 years of heading the co-operative.

Michael Hanley has served as Group CEO of Lakeland Dairies since 2006 and previously held various senior management positions with Lakeland Dairies since its formation in 1990.

He has been a deputy chief executive, general manager of Northern Ireland operations, general manager of dairy operations, and manager of member relations.

As member relations manager, he spearheaded the original 1990 campaign that saw the merger of Killeshandra and Lough Egish Co-operatives to form Lakeland Dairies

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