A group of Kerry suppliers is one step closer to renegotiating - and potentially redirecting - its milk supply.

Members of the Munster Dairy Producer Organisation (MDPO) confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that it has had its producer organisation (PO) status recognised by the Department of Agriculture.

At a meeting held in January for suppliers to express interest, Barrister Ciaran Dolan, the approved PO facilitator who applied to the Department of Agriculture on behalf of the group, said at the time that he expected to get formal recognition in the next week.

The meeting also heard that the newly formed group had been approached informally by processors about supplying their milk.

Tirlán CEO Jim Bergin confirmed to this publication in December that the company would be open to negotiating with the PO.

The group is made up of suppliers to Kerry Group who wish to join a PO.

It currently has a steering committee of 21 farmers from Limerick, Kerry and Clare.

The PO will be open to negotiations with both Kerry and other processors for their milk.

Other POs

The Irish Organic Milk Suppliers Co-op (IOMS) was the first group in the country to be officially recognised as a PO by the Department of Agriculture.

It received approval in late January.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that both applications were submitted within days of each other to the Department by Dolan.

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