First Milk seeks new farmer directors

First Milk seeks new farmer directors

First Milk is recruiting for new farmer directors after three of its existing directors announced they would be stepping down at the company's AGM in October.

Vice chairman Tom Campbell will stand down as a farmer director having served his term. There will be an announcement in due course on a successor for Tom as vice chairman.  Hugh Parker and Mark James have decided that this is the right time to pass on the baton to others, given the strong pipeline of talent we have coming through our membership.

First Milk's rules and Members Charter allow for any member to put themselves forward for selection, or they can nominate another member. The deadline for nominations is 30 April 2013.

First Milk chairman Bill Mustoe commented:

"I'm grateful to Tom, Mark and Hugh for giving us plenty of notice to start recruiting replacements. Tom is coming to the end of his term, Hugh feels it's time to give someone else a go after having spent over ten years as a farmer representative, and Mark wants to spend more time on his successful hospitality business. They will all remain in place until the AGM to allow us to finalise the recruitment process for the new farmer directors, submit the proposed candidates to the Area Representative group for ratification and complete a proper handover process.

"In 2010, when we last made changes to the farmer directors, we recognised then that we did not have enough people coming through our Area Representative group with the required skills to be on the Board of a £600m turnover business. We've worked hard since then to develop not only our Area Representative group, but we've also gone through the process of setting up a Development Group. The first Development Group was established last summer and numbers 17 First Milk producers from across Britain. They meet on a monthly basis for workshops that build their knowledge and insight on aspects of First Milk as well as the wider business and dairy industry environment.

"Having had the same farmer director group for two and a half years, we now have the opportunity to refresh the talent round the table and have a look at the breadth of skills and experience not only in our Area Representative Group and the Development Group, but across our wider membership. First Milk has changed a lot in the three and a bit years that I've been here and with the added value path we've set out, I'm sure that it will change even more in the next three years.

"It is important to highlight for anyone thinking of putting themselves forward that we have a comprehensive induction process in place for new farmer directors. This ensures not only that each new director is quickly brought up-to-speed on the current business, our strategic plans, and the wider food industry in which we operate, but also on their formal duties as a director and our co-op governance. The objective is that we have a smooth and seamless transition for the Board."


Notes to editors:

First Milk currently has 10 Board members: 6 farmer directors (Tom Campbell, Richard Davis, Nigel Evans, Mark James, Hugh Parker & Simon Weaver); 2 non-executive directors (Bill Mustoe & Bob Stott); and 2 executives (Kate Allum & Gerry Sweeney).