DAIRYGOLD MEMBERS FACE EXPULSION
Two members of the Dairygold regional committee are set to be removed from their positions after the board accused them of a conflict of interest, writes Brian Moore. Committee members PJ English of Clogheen and Dermot O’Connell have been given until Thursday next, May 7 to resign from Dairygold’s regional committee or face being fired.
Speaking to The Avondhu Mr English said: “The Dairygold board is trying to expel Dermot O’Connell, chairman of Cork Marts and myself from the regional committee if we do not resign from the board of Cork Marts. One would feel that the board has more important issues such as milk prices to discuss than attempting to silence two loyal shareholders of Dairygold.
"They say we are a conflict of interest through our involvement with CCM/Dovea AI. Dairygold has a 6% stake in Dovea AI and also an opportunity to sit on the board of Dovea at certain meetings. We feel this would eliminate us from representing a conflict of interest. Cork Marts approached Munster AI, in which Dairygold has a 66% stake, to sell semen for them at our mart premises. They rejected our offer and it was then we approached Dovea.”
PJ English continued: “At our Dairygold regional meetings we have never discussed the business of Munster AI and the same goes for Dovea at our meetings in Cork Marts. We feel we are just being sidelined from the Dairygold region because we ask too many questions. I have gone to my solicitor for advice and he believes I am not in conflict of interest after reading the Dairygold rulebook. He (the solicitor) is to make contact with Dairygold board this week.”
In response, a spokesperson for Dairygold issued the following statement: ‘Dairygold Co-op has informed two members of the Society’s Regional Committee that under Rule 52 (A) (6) of the Society, they cannot retain their positions on the Society’s Regional Committee while simultaneously continuing to serve on the Board of Cork Co-operative Marts Limited whose subsidiary AI business, ‘CCM Dovea Genetics’ recently begun to operate as an AI competitor business in the catchment area of Munster AI Ltd, a Dairygold Co-op subsidiary’.
Earlier this month the two members affected by this issue were advised that they can choose by the 30th April, 2009 between remaining on the board of Cork Co-operative Marts Limited or on Dairygold’s Regional Committee to avoid their positions on the Dairygold Regional Committee automatically becoming vacant.
In offering the choice, Dairygold said that the co-op was simply upholding the rules of the society as approved by members and that it was regrettable that any avoidable conflict of interest would prevent a member’s participation on the society’s regional committee.’
Thursday 30th April 8:22pm