Sector News

First Milk chief executive set to leave dairy co-op

March 10, 2015
Food & Drink
First Milk’s CEO Kate Allum is to leave the co-op after resigning late last year.
 
Mrs Allum handed her resignation to the board in the autumn and the business had hoped to tie-in news of her departure with the announcement of her replacement.
 
The co-op is holding final interviews this week for Mrs Allum’s successor.
 
None of those shortlisted are First Milk employees or have a dairy industry background, but the board is looking for someone with chief executive experience.
 
Mrs Allum will stay in her job until the new CEO takes over.
 
An official statement is expected on Tuesday (10 March), explaining Mrs Allum feels it is time for a change for her and for First Milk after six years’ service.
 
She joined First Milk in 2009 from McDonald’s, where she was head of European supply chain. She was appointed chief executive in May 2010.
 
First Milk has been the worst-hit processor in the dairy crisis of the past 12 months.
 
In January it was forced to delay payment to farmers by two weeks to plug a multimillion-pound cashflow hole.
 
The capital contributions co-op members make were also hiked from 0.5p/litre to 2p/litre.
 
Last month First Milk also unveiled its new A-B pricing model to give it more flexibility over the spring flush.
 
But the first prices under the new scheme could see some farmers receive 20p/litre or less in April.
 
In an interview with Farmers Weekly at the co-op’s AGM in January, Mrs Allum insisted the co-op was in “very good shape” for the year ahead.
 
By Charlie Taverner
 
 

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