Irish dairy co-operative Tirlán is implementing a “voluntary redundancy scheme”, set to put jobs on the line throughout the entire company.

Around 150 jobs will be at risk, the Avonmore milk producer said in a statement.

The move is part of the group’s “cost reduction programme” in a bid to “enhance long-term competitiveness”.

Tirlán said rising energy costs, salaries, interest rates, conforming to environmental regulations and a drop in volumes of milk supply had forced it to “proactively manage its cost base”.

The move is not expected to have a significant impact on milk production. “Tirlán will retain the ability to increase milk processing capacity if there are changes in milk supply dynamics,” it said.

Money saved through the redundancies is expected to “position Tirlán strongly against future challenges”, as well as help it accelerate “product innovation and growth in value-added products”, the company added.

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In 2023, the Kilmeaden cheddar processor saw revenues decline 17% to €2.53bn ($2.71bn) year-on-year, driven by falling commodity market prices.

Operating profits for the year dropped 5% to €68.3m, taking a hit from inflation, “and the commitment of the organisation to supporting farmers through a difficult period”, the co-op said.

Its net debt for the year dropped 33.7% on 2022, now sitting at €155m, which it said is its lowest level “in a decade”.

Commenting on the results at the time, Tirlán chairman John Murphy said a number of “unprecedented” hurdles “faced by both the sector and farmers last year” were to blame for the dip in performance.

“Weather, input costs, and regulatory change combined to cause considerable concerns for our farm families who are already in the midst of significant change. The organisation remained strong and supportive through its advisory teams who engaged with our farm families on a daily basis”, he added.

Tirlán was spun out of agri-food and nutrition business Glanbia in 2022, after it sold its remaining 40% share of Glanbia Ireland to Glanbia Cooperative Society for a €307m ($329.2m) sum.

The Truly Grass Fed cheese and butter maker appointed Seán Molloy as its new CEO in January, replacing Jim Bergin who is retiring from the business in July.

Molloy had previously been working for Glanbia’s Irish arm in a series of senior management roles since 2006, including director of strategy and supplier relations between 2006 and 2018.