UK – Glanbia Co-operative Society and Glanbia Ireland have officially assumed the local term Tirlán for a new identity as part of a shareholder agreement last year after the purchase of Glanbia PLC’s stake in its Irish dairy and grain business.

Tirlán is a combination of the Irish words Tír for land and Lán for full. Together, they mean ‘land of abundance. The new name has to be approved by the Kilkenny-based co-op’s shareholders.

The newly adopted name has however landed the company into a lot of criticism due to the absence of a fada on the ‘i’.

The company said the fada was omitted to simplify the name and “make it more relevant in a global context, as they export to 80 countries”. It added that one of the fadas was included on the ‘a’ as “a distinct Irish reference”.

The dairy co-op acquired the 40% interest it did not already own in its joint-venture partner Glanbia Ireland, a transaction completed in December.

The coop bought the stake from Glanbia plc for EUR307m (then US$355.1m) and pledged to adopt a new, differentiating name.

Co-op shareholders will be asked to vote to approve the name change for the Co-op in the coming weeks.

Glanbia plc will retain and continue to operate under the Glanbia name as an entirely separate entity while Tirlán will remain the largest shareholder in it, with a 31.9% shareholding.

The co-op’s CEO Jim Bergin, and now head of Tirlán, said: “It is with a sense of history and optimism that we unveil Tirlán as an ambitious, innovative, and modern co-op that combines the best of our heritage, all our people, and our expertise.”

Entering this new phase of our co-op’s journey, Tirlán has ambitions for an ever-increasing role in the wider economy, the international food and nutrition sectors, and especially in rural communities across the country.”

Tirlán will be Ireland’s largest milk processor sourcing its dairy and grains from a network of over 6,000 farm families.

Tirlán’s portfolio includes many of Ireland’s best-known dairy brands, such as Avonmore, Kilmeaden, Premier, and Wexford, and international brands such as GAIN Animal Nutrition, Truly Grass Fed, Millac, and Solmiko nutritional milk proteins.

The business also exports its products to the UK, France, Germany, the UAE, the US, North Africa, Japan, and China.

As a co-operative, Tirlán is 100% farmer-owned, with 11 processing facilities, 52 agri-branches, and over 2,100 employees.

In this financial year, the newly named dairy company processing fresh milk, cheese, cream, and dairy ingredients, its sales revenue is forecasted to exceed EUR3 billion.

So far, a new plant is under construction in Belview, Kilkenny, as part of a joint venture with fellow dairy business Royal A-ware in the Netherlands for EUR200m.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro-industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.