First Milk has signed up to the Dairy Industry's voluntary Code of Practice and at the same time produced a Members' Charter that details its farmer-focused governance structure.
Tom Campbell, First Milk's vice chairman and a farmer director commented:
"We wholeheartedly endorse the aims of the voluntary Code of Practice and believe that it is a big step in the right direction towards a level playing field for producers.
"As a farmer co-operative, our members ultimately determine the strategy of our business and the basis of the trading relationships through which they supply their milk and invest their capital.
"We have signed up to all the elements of the voluntary Code except the permitted exemptions for qualifying co-op's.
"At the same time we have produced a Members' Charter that details our strong farmer-focused governance and 100% farmer control. The Charter details a number of areas including how we set milk price, how members participate in our governance, how we reward member capital, plus how we consult and communicate with members and their representatives.
"The Charter has been independently reviewed by SAOS (experts on co-operative and collaborative strategies, structures and management) and they have agreed to conduct an annual independent review on our actual practice against every single line in the Charter. The annual independent review will be made available to all First Milk members.
"We seek out and aspire to global best practice amongst farmers' co-operative businesses, and are constantly seeking ways to improve our member / co-operative interface."
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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 UK and international markets.
For further information on First Milk, please visit www.firstmilk.co.uk or follow the company on Twitter @first_milk and YouTube www.youtube.co.uk/firstmilk1.
A copy of First Milk's sustainability report is also available to download via its website - www.firstmilk.co.uk/sustainability/