Lakeland Dairies members vote overwhelming in favour of rule changes

Lakeland Dairies members vote overwhelming in favour of rule changes

Pictured: Shareholders attending and voting in a show of hands at the SGM of Lakeland Dairies held in Cavan.

The shareholders of Lakeland Dairies have voted resoundingly in favour of adopting new rules aimed at future proofing the ongoing progress and success of the Co-operative.

At a Special General Meeting (SGM) held in Cavan today, the vote was carried by 98%. The outcome helps ensure that Lakeland Dairies can meet the needs of its farm family members across the wide catchment area it serves.

The shareholders of Lakeland Dairies voted on adopting the following changes to the co-op’s rulebook;

  • Promotion of Diverse Membership and Governance Participation.
  • Ensure meetings are held in a manner that encourages attendance and participation by our diverse members.
  • Introduction of Postal, Electronic and Hybrid Voting for elections of members of the Board.
  • Updating of language in the Rules to reflect a modern Society e.g. Chairperson replacing Chairman.

Speaking after the SGM, Lakeland Dairies’ Chairperson Niall Matthews welcomed the outcome of the vote.

“I am pleased to see such a strong turnout from our shareholders and, equally, I am delighted to see the votes pass in such a comprehensive manner.

“This is one of the most transformative times in the history of the co-operative movement. We are seeing considerable change coming to farming and with change comes opportunity. I’m a firm believer that having as many voices as possible from diverse backgrounds within our co-operative helps continually to foster progressive ideas and strategies.

“Lakeland Dairies is a progressive, modern and sustainable co-operative, producing food to the highest standards, while supporting the wellbeing of our farm families and rural communities. We want to sustain that in every way possible for the future and having greater diversity throughout our shareholder base is a key part of that process.

“We are a modern co-op with a large supplier base. Therefore, I am also pleased to see the option for in-person as well as hybrid voting for Board elections being carried. We want to ensure that every eligible shareholder has a voice in an election for their Board and this will help farmers have options on how to vote – which is a critical component of a democratic co-operative.”

Pictured: Niall Matthews, Chairperson of Lakeland Dairies chats to Elaine Weir, Dairy Farmer and Joint Shareholder from Rathfriland, Co. Down during the Lakeland Dairies, Special General Meeting in Cavan on Tuesday afternoon, September 12th, 2023.