Article appeared in issue 6, 2021

New Moves

Dairygold Co-Op announces the appointment of CEO-designate

Dairygold Co-Op has appointed Conor Galvin as CEO-designate of the society. The announcement was made in October and Conor will take up his new role from 1st January 2022. He will replace outgoing CEO Jim Woulfe, who is leaving the business after 42 years.

Conor joined Dairygold in 2014 and has held key positions on the Co-Op’s senior leadership team where he led the strategic and commercial growth of the post-quota dairy side of the business. Conor began his career as country finance manager with Procter & Gamble, and immediately prior to joining Dairygold, he spent almost six years with DCC Plc as finance director, DCC, Food & Beverages. From a rural background in Co. Westmeath, Conor holds a primary degree in Science followed by a PhD from University College Dublin and, in addition, an MBA from the Smurfit Business School. 

Announcing the board appointment Dairygold chairman, John O’ Gorman said: “Conor has held key roles in the business, underpinning post-quota milk expansion, while demonstrating excellent leadership and negotiation skills as well as a collaborative partnership approach. During his career to-date in Dairygold he has worked closely with a range of stakeholders, both internal and external, and has a deep knowledge and understanding of the organisation, its members, suppliers, employees, customers, and business partners.”


Strong performance

Dairygold is Ireland’s largest farmer-owned co-operative, producing naturally sourced dairy nutritionals. The society delivered strong financial results for 2020, with a turnover exceeding €1bn. In 2020, milk volumes increased by 2.7% to 1.43 billion litres and the society’s average base milk price was 29.8 cent per litre. Last year saw the completion of the society’s €130m capital investment programme, incorporating three strategically important projects: 

  • Infrastructure at Mogeely, for Tine SA’s new Jarlsberg Cheese Factory; 

  • The redevelopment of the demineralised whey production facility at Castlefarm; 

  • The new milk evaporator and dryer (NIRO 5) at Mallow.

The successful completion of these projects provides processing capacity of circa 52 million litres,

in peak week.

In 2020, the society established a new health and nutrition business with an ambition to deliver higher margin, through internal proposition development and targeting acquisitions in food, health and nutrition categories.



Overseas investment

Dairygold’s overseas businesses in the UK and Germany rely heavily on the foodservice and hospitality sectors, but despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, they performed well in 2020 by reviewing operational costs in the context of reduced activity and seeking new opportunities. Dairygold continues to support its overseas businesses with the capital investment required to sustain and further develop the businesses. €5m is currently being invested in the cultured dairy facility in Leeds to deliver improvements in quality assurance, product development, productivity, and staff facilities.