First Milk Appoints New Directors to the Board

First Milk chairman Bill Mustoe has chosen his six Farmer Directors to make up the First Milk Board.

Existing farmer directors Tom Campbell, who is also vice-chairman; Hugh Parker and Richard Davis retain their seats on the Board.

They will be joined by Nigel Evans, Mark James and Simon Weaver, following First Milk's AGM on 5th October. The trio came through Mustoe's advisory group, which he set up in April, to bring a new breadth of commercial experience to the First Milk Board.

The First Milk Board also comprises Bill Mustoe (chairman); Beverley Hodson OBE (non-executive director); Eric Sanderson (non-executive director); Kate Allum (chief executive) and Ian Forgie (finance director).

Mustoe's recommendations for the Farmer Directors were approved by First Milk's group of farmer representatives and will go forward to the company's AGM next month. While members will not be asked to vote on the new Board, they will be required to vote on the amendments to the Society's rules, which will enable the proposed changes to the composition of the Board.

Commenting on the appointments, Mustoe said: "It was a very tough decision to finalise the six farmer directors and there were a number of close calls. However, I believe we will have a better-balanced Board in place that gives us the broader commercial expertise. Of course, the over-riding objective in everything we do is to continue the positive momentum that we have created, for the benefit of members."

The new Board will sit for the first time following the First Milk AGM.

An advisory group will continue to provide further ideas and act as a sounding board for Mustoe. This will be made up of Dai Gravell, Glyn Jones, Jim Baird and Gary Mitchell, plus current First Milk Farmer Directors Richard Twose, Mike Gorton and Roger Evans.


Notes to editors

Profiles on individuals in new Board

Tom Campbell, Elected Director

Tom Campbell was elected to the First Milk Board in 2004 and runs a 230-acre farm in West Kilbride, Ayrshire. In his capacity as local representative, Tom represents members in North Ayrshire, Clyde, Central and East. Tom is chairman of industry body, Assured Dairy Farms. Tom was appointed vice-chairman in June 2010.

Richard Davis, Elected Director

Richard Davis has a 250-acre farm in Bedfordshire. Richard served as a First Milk Board Director from 2001 until 2008. He was re-elected onto the Board in October 2009. He is the local representative for East Anglia and the South East. Richard is also a Board member of DairyCo.

Hugh Parker, Elected Director

Hugh Parker farms in a family partnership with wife Maureen and brother John on a part owned/part tenanted 430-acre unit near Stranraer. Since 2003, Hugh has been First Milk's local representative serving the Stranraer area. He was elected onto the Board in October 2009.

Nigel Evans, Selected Director

Nigel has an international perspective on industry having established a number of property businesses within Europe and he currently chairs a Swedish property company. Specifically in agriculture, he has studied the dairy industries in the US, South America and New Zealand, including the operation of the co-op Fonterra and has travelled extensively to learn from the best people in the dairy industry.

Mark James, Selected Director

When Mark re-organised his Herefordshire dairy enterprise seven years ago, it gave him the opportunity to evolve the business. Along with his wife, he opened a café, conference, wedding venue and outward-bound course. The couple also produce wines from their four hectares of grapes, which they sell in their award-winning café shop and to local hotels and restaurants.

Simon Weaver, Selected Director

A Gloucestershire farmer Simon runs a small artisan cheese enterprise on his farm, supplying independent customers as well as 300 Sainsbury's stores. Simon also has a farming business in Eastern Europe, supplying leading multiple retailers and is currently chairman of a grain storage co-operative.

Bill Mustoe, Chairman

Bill has broad director experience of private label and branded businesses. He chaired the European arm of Cott Beverages, the world's largest private label cola supplier and Whitworth, the UK's largest dried fruit company. Bill also held European and UK executive roles with the Campbell's Soup Company.

Beverley Hodson OBE, Non-Executive Director

Beverley Hodson is former managing director of WH Smith UK Retail, Dolcis Ltd and Cable & Co. Beverley joined the First Milk Board as a non-executive director in 2005. She also holds non-executive director positions with NFU Mutual, Ranstand NV and Iforce.

Eric Sanderson, Non-Executive Director

Eric Sanderson joined the First Milk Board in 2006. Eric is former chief executive of group treasury operations with Bank of Scotland Group and British Linen Bank and former chairman of Kwik-Fit Insurance Services Ltd and MyTravel Group plc. Eric is non-executive chairman of Marylebone Warwick Balfour Group Plc.

Kate Allum, Chief Executive

Kate was appointed Chief Executive in May 2010, having joined First Milk in March 2009. Kate was most recently at McDonalds, where she was head of European supply chain, handling sourcing of food, packaging, distribution and toys. Kate was responsible for sustainability, environmental and animal welfare policies, as well as implementing a European nutritional strategy. Prior to this, Kate held roles with US food business OSI International and Mars Inc.

Ian Forgie, Finance director

After qualifying as a banker, Ian established and ran his own highland outfit business before training as a Chartered Accountant. He then spent four years as financial controller at Prestwick Airport before moving to the pharmaceutical sector, subsequently joining First Milk in 2005. After a further short spell in the pharmaceutical sector, he returned to First Milk in early 2007 as Group financial controller, following the acquisition of the cheese business. Ian was appointed finance director and became a member of the First Milk Board in the summer of 2010.

For further information, please contact:

Paul Flanagan

Group communications director

M: 07767 241452

7 September 2010