Between Ornuo, an agricultural co-op owned by Kerrygold and a Glanbia Milk Product Group, which owns 25 percent of Ornua, serious stress has arisen due to Glanbia's decision to introduce a new brand of milk to make Irish farmers fear that they can forget Kerrygold's gilded position on the American market.
The row of the hall above Glanbie's US start of the Truly Grass Fed on Wednesday led to the cancellation of the monthly meeting of directors of Ornua. It was attended by Glanbie nominees in the Ornuin Committee, Jim Bergin of Glanbia Ingredients and Martin Keane, who is also chairman of Glanbia.
It is understood that instead of some other members of the Ornus Board of Directors and senior managers, they discussed without the nominees of Glanbia.
Agricultural sources have said Irish times that some other shareholders in Ornava are concerned about the presence of Glanbia's directors at the meetings of the board of directors that Kerrygold would be operating on, given that Glanbia has decided to effectively launch a competitive brand in the United States.
Ornua said that his directors this week "after a certain administrative matter" after the cancellation of the board meeting.
It is understood that Wednesday's discussions in Ornua included the future relationship with the Glanbia nominees on board. The source said, "nothing was out of the table," but no conclusions were reached yet.
When asked how other shareholders could be convinced of the presence of nominees of a direct competitor in their boardroom, Ornua said that his board members were aware of their responsibilities as directors, including the obligation to protect confidential information.
"The director of Ornu is tasked to act in the best interests of the participants while at the same time protecting the interests of each individual shareholder," said Ornua.
Glanbia insisted that Ornua would continue to support itself as "the largest shareholder and supplier," but warned that her candidates remained there.
"There is no basis on which the appointed directors of Glanbia Ireland should refuse control over the entire business of Ornua," said Glanbia.
He said that Ornua competed with his members elsewhere in the past. In addition to Glanbia, Ornua is also owned by groups such as Dairygold and Aurivo.
"Competition on the market is a reality and a legal requirement with which Ornua is already acquainted. [We] I believe that there is enough space in the market for the Truly Grass Fed area, which will thrive together [Kerrygold], "Said Glanbia.
Kerrygold is the second best-selling brand of butter in the US, where it rose 21 percent last year.
Glanbia originally started marketing Truly Grass Fed as a cheese brand. Asked if there are still varieties of butter, Glanbia said that this was "one of the options discussed". He insisted Kerrygold wanted to become a different market segment.
"In the country with rising milk and the daunting challenge of Brexit, Irish milk producers can not be denied the opportunity to grow their market share," Glanbia said.
Some agricultural sources expressed concern about Glanbia's decision to name her brand "Truly Grass Fed". Kerrygold has based his American marketing strategy on Irish cows that improve the taste and color of butter.