Lacpatrick looks to the future with progressive governance structures


michael-collins-newsPictured: Michael Collins (CFO)

A comprehensive review of LacPatrick’s Council and Board structures was passed by a 91% vote held by the shareholders at a Special General Meeting held last night (June 13) in Armagh City Hotel.

Hugo Maguire, Chairman of LacPatrick said, “We held the SGM today in accordance with our Governance to achieve a membership vote on how the members should be represented going forward, with a new Board and Council Structure. This is part of an ongoing consultation, taking into account the views of our existing members and the views of the additional 350 new members we welcomed recently.

“We are delighted that the proposal was accepted by our members and we are encouraged by the engaging talks held yesterday evening. LacPatrick Co-operative Society can now look forward with confidence that it has an appropriate governance structure in place to complement the size and ambition of its base of suppliers.”

The reform proposals were developed by a specifically appointed sub-committee of the Board with the aim to develop a fair, transparent and representative structure of governance covering Council and Board membership.

The first step of this reform was taken at the 2016 AGM whereby the then shareholders were awarded bonus shares to bring each shareholding to a minimum level and to specifically reward milk suppliers with additional shares.

The second step was to give the opportunity of new shareholding to the wide base of loyal milk suppliers who were not LacPatrick shareholders. This offer was accepted by over 350 suppliers from right across the counties of Ulster.

The final step was the reform of Council and Board structures. In proposing a new Council, the geographical spread of milk supplying shareholders was critical in devising new electoral areas to give fair representation. These electoral areas will elect a number of seats to the new Council, from supplying shareholders in their own area.

The newly elected Council of 60 members are entrusted with dealing with membership/share issues and disseminating information to the members/suppliers on the ground. The Council also elects the Board of Directors from its membership with fixed representation from each area. The new Board of Directors will be comprised of 16 members and will take effect from September 2017.

Upon concluding the SGM, Gabriel Darcy, CEO, expressed a sincere thanks to all members who attended the meeting: “We look forward to continuing our dialogue with our members to build on the solid foundations that we are putting in place. On behalf of LacPatrick, I would like to thank our members, new and old, for their positive engagement to date. With this new Board and Council in place, a clear strategy, and our dedicated employees, we are in a strong position to continue to create long-term value for you, our members”.