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Ornua appoints Anne McFarland and Anne O’Leary as Independent Non-Executive Directors

Pictured above: Anne McFarland and Anne O’Leary

Ornua Co-Operative, owner of Ireland’s iconic Kerrygold brand and the leading exporter of premium Irish dairy products worldwide with revenues of €2.3 billion, is pleased to announce the appointment of Anne McFarland and Anne O’Leary as Independent Non-Executive Directors. These new appointments bring a wealth of international experience to the Board of Ornua as the organisation seeks to drive further international growth for premium Irish dairy.

Anne McFarland is a Chartered Accountant with 40 years’ experience in finance, international business, and governance. Currently running her own finance and governance consultancy, Anne’s career has included senior finance roles and directorships with private and listed firms across multiple international markets. Most recently she was an Independent Director for Botswana Diamonds PLC, an AIM listed exploration company, and held senior executive financial positions in Glencore, a global producer and trader in natural commodities and Segezha Packaging, a multinational manufacturer of packaging for the building and food industries, both based in Moscow. She is also a published author on corporate governance. Anne has a BA from Trinity College Dublin, a diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD and a diploma in Law and Sport from the Law Society of Ireland.

Anne O’Leary is a Chartered Certified Accountant with over 40-years’ experience. Most recently, she was a senior audit partner with Ernst & Young where she advised a range of international clients across a wide range of sectors. As audit partner and advisor, Anne worked with an Irish dairy processing company for over ten years gaining in depth knowledge of the Irish dairy industry and international dairy markets. Anne has extensive experience in financial analysis and financial reporting having advised on acquisitions, divestments, restructuring, and debt refinancing. She has served, and continues to serve, on a number of charitable boards including South Munster Money Advice and Budget Services Limited. Anne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants.

Announcing the appointments, Denis Cregan, Chair of Ornua Co-operative, said:

“These key Board appointments cement the new governance structure we started to implement last year to underpin the delivery of Ornua’s ambitious expansion plans. I welcome Anne McFarland and Anne O’Leary to the Ornua Board and look forward to benefiting from their wealth of Irish and international business experience as we support the Ornua executive team in delivering its ambitious growth strategy.”

Commenting on the appointments, John Jordan, Chief Executive of Ornua Co-operative, said

‘The appointment of Anne McFarland and Anne O’Leary represents an important step in the strengthening of Ornua’s board, deepening our expertise and enhancing our international perspective as we face the continuing challenges of operating in a complex global trading environment. I would like to warmly welcome them and personally look forward to strengthening the diversity of thought around the Boardroom table as we look to build on the trajectory of growth Ornua has experienced in recent years working with our member Co-ops and the farmers of Ireland.”

The appointment of two Independent Non-Executive Directors represents the final step in the implementation of Ornua’s new governance structure. The Ornua Board now consists of eight appointees from member suppliers on a non-conflicted basis; three Independent Non-Executive Directors; an appointee from each of the Irish Farmers Association, Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, and the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society and two Ornua Executives. This new structure delivers a modern, fit-for-purpose, co-operative governance model while maintaining a crucial link between Ornua, its members and its farmer shareholders.

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