Arrabawn expands on back of sales growth

Arrabawn Co-op’s group turnover increased by over a third last year as its sales of milk and milk-related products soared thanks to strong domestic and international demand. The group had a turnover of €169.1 million in 2010 compared to €125.8 million in 2009, an increase of 34.5 per cent.

Michael Flaherty, chairman of the group, said the strong performance had been led by dairy product sales which comprised 70 per cent of overall sales, and helped by the acquisition of Galway’s Dawn Dairies from Kerry Group last year.

Arrabawn Co-op, formed from a merger of Nenagh Co-op and the Mid West Farmer’s Co-op 10 years ago, also has a strongly-performing animal feeds division, under the DOC, Gowla, and Greenvale Animal Feeds brands, and a stores division.

The co-op’s state-of-the-art liquid milk plant is located at Kilconnell, outside Ballinasloe. This plant will process over 40 million litres this year following the acquisition of Dawn Galway.

Mr Flaherty said Arrabawn’s liquid milk division directly employs more than 120 people across its processing and distribution functions but that there was additional, invaluable income generated for dairy farmers in the region. He pointed that there was an added social benefit of helping to keep Ireland’s dairy farming community vibrant and self-sustaining, reflecting the principles of the co-operative movement.

“In a recessionary period we at Arrabawn are very conscious of the added importance of generating and maintaining locally-based employment in rural areas and keeping people on the land and we welcome the farmers who supplied Dawn Dairies and are now supplying us,” he said.

Arrabawn milk is on sale throughout Connacht, in stores in the Midlands and North Munster, and in all retail outlets.

“The purchase of Dawn Dairies last year is a good fit for our Dairies Division, helping us to fill capacity at our Kilconnell plant and enabling us to continue to provide best value to our retailer customers.”

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