Last week the dairy co-operative announced members’ loan capital would be converted to equity as part of the firm’s ongoing restructuring.
A First Milk spokesman confirmed to Farmers Guardian this would create tradable shares, but there was little clarity about how this equity could be used by members and those wishing to leave the firm.
NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes said converting money owed to its members to equity took risk away from First Milk and placed this on members’ side.
"For ex-members and members it is looking like it is going to be difficult to access that money in future," he said.
"But in reality it has made that business more sustainable so there may be more chance of members and ex-members getting [money owed to them]."
Mr Oakes suggested the move may also de-value what was owed by First Milk to its members.
"As the business stands today, shares in First Milk do not have a great value," he said, adding farmers needed greater clarity on the details of how these shares could be used.
The move also prompted mixed feelings at farm level.
One farmer, who asked not be named, said he was owed in the region of £30,000 by the co-operative in the form of capital repayments, but was unsure whether he would ever realise anywhere near this figure.