Belfast Telegraph

Dale Farm chief executive David Dobbin retiring after 16 years at helm

By John Mulgrew

Dairy boss David Dobbin is stepping down from his post as chief executive of Dale Farm owner United Dairy Farmers after 16 years at the helm.

Dr Dobbin is leaving his role as group chief later this year.

And the company has confirmed that Nick Whelan, from Glanbia Ingredients, will replace Dr Dobbin in the role.

A spokeswoman for Dale Farm said Dr Dobbin will still play a key role in the business, and the wider dairy industry.

It’s understood the announcement was made internally on Tuesday.

He will continue his other roles, including chairman of Dairy UK, the Northern Ireland Dairy Council as well as continuing to serve on the Agri-Food Strategy board.

John Dunlop, chairman of United Dairy Farmers, said: “The board would like to thank David for his leadership and sterling contribution to the group which he has successfully transformed into the UK’s largest dairy co-operative. We wish him the very best in his retirement.”

Dr Dobbin is also the current chairman of Belfast Harbour.

He walked away with a special award for Outstanding Contribution to the Progressive Development of Business in Northern Ireland during this year’s Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.

His replacement, Nick Whelan, joined Glanbia in January 2007, bringing with him experience from 12 years with the Kerry Group, where he held a number of senior positions.

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland acquired the milk supply of Fivemiletown Creamery in Co Tyrone in 2014. Glanbia also manufactures mozzarella cheese in Magheralin near Craigavon.

Last year, Dr Dobbin said the next six to nine months would be some of the most challenging facing dairy farmers in Northern Ireland.

He said there remained serious concern for both farmers and processors, “particularly those who have invested and borrowed money who have to survive this downturn”.

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