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First Milk appoints Chris Thomas as new Chairman


First Milk has today announced the appointment of a new non-executive Chairman, Chris Thomas.

Chris, who has spent his career in senior management with some of the food sector’s leading businesses, joins the First Milk Board on August 1, 2018 and will replace, Clive Sharpe, who informed the Board that he intended to stand down from the position earlier this year.

Chris has a strong track record of successful leadership in the food and dairy sectors, having held senior executive and non-executive positions across a range of businesses including Tulip UK, Adelie Foods, Bakkavor, St. Ivel, PepsiCo and Mars. He is currently non-executive Chairman of G’s Convenience Foods and Street Eats Food Ltd and a non-executive director of Espersen. 

Commenting on the announcement, Clive Sharpe, Chairman, said:

“Since I joined First Milk back in 2016 I have seen the business through a period of major strategic and structural change. It has been a great pleasure to chair the Board through this period however, due to significant changes to my personal circumstances, as well as other professional commitments, I now feel it is the right time to step down from the role.’’ 

Jim Baird, Farmer Director and Vice Chairman, added:

“Clive has provided great leadership to the Board over the last two and a half years during a difficult period, and we are extremely grateful for his contribution and wish him well. Now, as we focus on the future, we look forward to working with Chris to drive growth and deliver our vision of dairy prosperity.”

Chairman-designate, Chris Thomas, added:

“It is great to be joining First Milk at this exciting time in the food sector. We face a period of huge change - both in the retail environment and with Brexit on the horizon - and change brings opportunities. First Milk has well established long-term customer relationships, efficient processing facilities, a stable financial position and a clear strategy for growth and I look forward to working with the business to deliver for its farmer members.”