In a letter to First Milk members this week, the farm co-op's chairman Bill Mustoe has announced plans to step down at the company's AGM this October after four years at the helm. He also announced Pembrokeshire farmer Nigel Evans as vice chairman designate and detailed his perspective on the progress that the company has made under his leadership.
"Throughout my career I've learned that there's always a right time to pass on the baton. None of us are getting any younger and I've just turned 70, so with a settled management team and a clear strategy in place, October just seems the most appropriate time.
"I knew very little about the dairy industry when I came to First Milk four years ago. I just knew how a business should be run. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, especially over the first year, but once we made the big changes that were necessary we were off and running. When I look at First Milk now, I see a business with strong foundations that has made a huge amount of progress.
"I have also informed members that the Board has put succession planning in place for our vice chairman. We have already announced that Tom Campbell will step down as a farmer director in October having served his term. Nigel Evans who farms in Pembrokeshire and has been on the Board since 2010, will take over as vice chairman when Tom steps down.
"As for where I currently see the business, we've come a long way over the last few years and we've now plotted a clear path to reshape First Milk into an added value food business. I am convinced that this is the right route for us and the Board have greatly appreciated the support we've received from the vast majority of members. I firmly believe that the recent investments we have made and the clear added value strategy that we have set, will position us well for the future."
"Finally, I want to put on record my thanks to all First Milk members for the support they have provided to the business and on a personal level for the kindness they have shown to me over the last few years at First Milk farms the length and breadth of Britain."
About First Milk
First Milk is the UK's only major dairy company owned by British dairy farmers.
As a business with a passion for innovation and sustainability, it is constantly seeking fresh ways of working with partners across the supply chain to drive pioneering solutions to industry challenges.
This has been supported through the recent acquisition of added value businesses, by rapid progress on launching new products and securing new customers in the UK and international markets.
A copy of First Milk's sustainability report is also available to download via its website - www.firstmilk.co.uk/sustainability/