Farming & Fisheries

Dairygold chief takes on new role at Ornua helm

February 24th, 2024 9:00 PM

By Martin Claffey

Conor Galvin joined Dairygold in 2014 and became chief executive in 2022.

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DAIRYGOLD is on the lookout for a new chief executive after Conor Galvin left to take up the equivalent role with Ornua.

Michael Harte will step up from his role as chief financial officer at Dairygold as they have begun the process to recruit a new chief executive. He also took on the role of interim ceo in 2009 during a previous ransition.

Originally from Westmeath, Galvin leaves Dairygold after a decade at the coop and having become chief executive in 2022. In April 2022 it reported a profit of more than €40m after a record turnover of €1.65bn.

‘While I look forward to the future, I am also deeply grateful to Dairygold for the opportunity to lead such a well-respected organisation,’ he said.

‘I pay tribute to everyone involved in Dairygold, both farmers and employees, who work together to drive value for the farming families who supply it. I’m very confident that through the continued strength of the business, its shareholders, management and staff that Dairygold will continue to deliver on its strategic growth ambitions, underpinning sustainable farming for its shareholders.

‘I am honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to lead Ornua into the future. For decades, Ornua has delivered significant value for Irish dairy families through the strong connection that it creates between farmers and consumers. I will encourage collaboration at all levels within the industry to positively address the challenges that face the sector in the years ahead.’

Ornua is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products and has annualised sales of over €3.4 billion.

Ornua co-op chair Aidan O’Driscoll said: 'I am delighted that Conor Galvin will be the new chief executive of Ornua and will lead the group as it continues to deliver value for its member co-operatives and the 14,000 dairy farming families that supply them. His appointment follows a comprehensive selection process led by a board subcommittee. Conor has a deep knowledge of the dairy sector and has extensive senior executive experience. He is deeply committed to the co-operative nature of the dairy business and has a strong focus on working in close partnership with key stakeholders. My fellow board directors and I look forward to working with Conor as Ornua continues its journey of delivering long-term sustainable growth.’

Dairygold chairperson Sean O’Brien said Mr Galvin’s tenure saw strengthening to ‘the value add’ and ‘sustainability credentials of the business. We wish Conor every success in his new role in what will be an important and challenging one for Ornua and its dairy processing members, including Dairygold. Continued strong leadership is needed as dairy farmers and the industry face the challenges of consumer lifestyle changes, EU regulation and sustainability.

‘Michael has been a key member of the Senior Leadership Team responsible for driving Dairygold’s strategic direction. He has managed the strong financial performance of the business, through a period of unprecedented transformation and growth, while protecting the financial integrity of the Society. We are very confident that he will ensure a smooth and effective transition in leadership.’

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