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First Milk continues leadership shake-up with new member council

The new group’s establishment is part of a raft of governance changes since chief executive Mike Gallacher’s arrival


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Troubled dairy processor First Milk has appointed a new member council as part of a raft of changes since chief executive Mike Gallacher’s arrival.

 

The seven member council of First Milk members will represent farmer owners and oversee the strategy of the business. The activation of the new member council follows the announcement of a new, smaller, First Milk board at the end of last year.

 

Significant changes to the leadership of First Milk have been a running theme since the Greenburn Report, initiated after the arrival of Mike Gallacher as the new chief executive last year.

 

Speaking about the new member council, Mr Gallacher said the move concluded a ’key milestone’ in developing a professional governance structure which would deliver for members.

 


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Member council

  • Christine Kelsall, Lancashire
  • Mike Smith, Pembrokeshire
  • Robert Craig, Cumbria
  • Scott Calderwood, Dumbartonshire
  • Wendy Radley, Cheshire
  • Willie Campbell, Ayrshire
  • Willie Purdie, Dumfries

"First Milk has moved fast over the last 10 months and the pace of change will continue as we address the fundamentals of the business and work to improve our returns to members," he said.

 

Mike Gallacher spoke to Farmers Guardian’s Ben Briggs in an exclusive interview last December about the company’s turnaround plan and when First Milk could expect to increase returns to members.

 

The appointments were scrutinised independently in a process chaired by non-executive director Carl Ravenhall. He said the company had achieved a good balance between experience and fresh ideas with its appointments to the council.

 

He said: "We have significantly strengthened the governance of this business, with a smaller board which has greater commercial skills and a new member council with clearly defined powers and responsibilities."

 

First Milk’s half year results to September 30, announced in November, showed a £1.1 million operating profit and a significant reduction in net debt.

 

But the company announced a further cut in farmer returns for March in recent days, pointing to weak market conditions and the plentiful supply of milk.

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