The newly appointed Group Chief Executive of Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s largest dairy processor, has said that his first priority at the helm is to meet the farmer cooperative members and tackle their concerns head-on.
Nick Whelan, who joined the company on August 1st of this year, brings with him a wealth of experience after occupying a variety of prominent roles with Kerry Group, over a 12 year period and more recently Glanbia where he was employed since 2007. The county Wexford native takes over from Dr David Dobbin, who stepped down from the position after 16 years in charge.
On his role within the business, Nick Whelan said: “I am in no doubt of the challenges that lie ahead for the Dale Farm Group in what are uncertain times for the industry. As a priority I want to meet our farmer owners in a series of four meetings over the next two weeks to answer their questions in-person, and assure them that Dale Farm is well-positioned to succeed in a demanding and very competitive marketplace.
“The business has grown significantly in recent years through continuous investment, acquisitions and product innovation. We have strengthened our UK business considerably which will stand us in good stead in the wake of Brexit – this includes the growth of both our branded and own label sales of consumer products across the dairy category in addition to developing new protein based products into the food nutrition sector.
“I have spent my initial weeks learning about the company and I strongly believe that Dale Farm is a business to be proud of. However, farmers have suffered unsustainable milk prices over the past two years. My objective is to use my knowledge of over 20 years in the industry to maximise Dale Farm’s potential whilst optimising members returns.”