15th February, 2013
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has said that the sudden closure of several retail branches of Wexford Farmers’ Co-op (WFC) has come as a major shock to its farmer shareholders.
Chair of Wexford ICSA Paddy Kent said, “A press release from WFC arrived in shareholders’ post on 13th of February, stating that it had initiated “a major restructure of its current business model.” The letter also referred to a “managed and measured exit from retailing.” However, most WFC retail outlets didn’t open on February 13th, which makes a nonsense of the words “managed and measured exit”.”
Mr Kent added, “This is a very sad juncture for the shareholders and staff of what was once amongst the most vibrant farming co-op movements in the country. We in Wexford ICSA welcome the pledge from the board and senior management to do all possible to save the core mart business. However we believe that it is vital there should now as a matter of urgency be a full shareholders meeting to ascertain the facts of the matter and salvage whatever is left of goodwill and confidence. Above all else, the co-op would benefit from the counsel of its shareholders as it negotiates this process.”