The decision on whether Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd (GIIL) can secure Wexford Milk Producers (WMP) to sell their processing plants and milk pool is set for a vote tonight in the Talbot Hotel in Wexford Town.

The Irish Farmers Association, the ICMSA and the Irish Co-Operative Society (ICOS) have all come out in favour of the move.

Speaking to AgriLand, IFA national dairy committee chairman Kevin Kiersey said the move will further improve efficiencies and scale for the benefit of all dairy farmers in the region, whether they currently supply Wexford Creameries or GIIL.

ICMSA president John Comer said: “The document proposed is a good deal for Wexford farmers with the benefits clear to all members. It is obvious that management in Wexford Creamery have negotiated a fair deal for their members but also that GIIL will gain from the proposal with increased processing capacity and scale. It is a ‘win-win situation’ .

In addition, ICOS president Bertie O’Leary said the WMP retains its identity as a co-operative and the unity of purpose that has characterised the society since its inception will remain important into the future.

Meanwhile, a late submission on why farmers should reject the deal has been circulated by WMP board member Padraig Doyle.

The dairy farmer has financed an analysis of the deal by Tipperary-based agricultural consultation Martin & Rea. According to the report, WMP shareholders should reject the GIIL proposals to pay €3.7m in cash and €16.3m in redeemable shares, which can be sold back to GIIL in 2023.

The report also claims that a dividend of four per cent payable on the shares from year six to year 10 would only offset inflation on the money and the real value of the offer was closer to €14.7m in today’s terms.

Speaking to AgriLand, Doyle said he was the sole member of the board of 13 people to come out against the proposed deal. “A lot of members have thanked me for producing the report,” he added.

The WMP vote on the deal takes place this evening in Wexford. WMP comprises 350 shareholders and a majority vote plus one is how the decision will be reached.