First Milk "completes turnaround"

8 Feb 2017

British farmer-owned dairy company First Milk has brought its member payment terms back into line, saying that it is completing the turnaround work in the business over the last two years.

First Milk completes turnaround

British farmer-owned dairy company First Milk has brought its member payment terms back into line, saying that it is completing the turnaround work in the business over the last two years.

With effect from 10th February, the deferral of member payment terms made at the end of 2014 will be reversed. Payments to members on 10th of February will be a double payment. This means members will receive six weeks money during February.

Since early 2015, First Milk says it has undergone a radical transformation. It has a new leadership team, a new business strategy, improved operational performance, is free of loss making subsidiaries and has established a more effective governance structure.

"This move sends a clear signal on the progress made by First Milk and returns our payment terms to normal for our members,” said Clive Sharpe, Chairman of First Milk. “The Board recognises the huge role members have played in the turnaround of their co-op, and thank them for their continued support."

"Returning to our previous payment terms draws a clear line under the turnaround process for First Milk,” said CEO Mike Gallacher. “We now need to concentrate on the future. First Milk is a very different to the business of early 2015. We are a lean, focused and financially secure business capable of delivering a competitive milk price for the long term. We have only been able to deliver the huge changes at First Milk because of the support of members. The business can deliver more for members and we will now get on with that. The role for a scale British Dairy Co-operative is even more compelling post Brexit and we aim to demonstrate this in the years ahead."

First Milk said that it can also confirm that it has completed work on new long term financing arrangements, which the company says has been successful due to the strength of the First Milk core business and will generate significant future savings versus current financing costs.