First Milk

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Building value in liquid milk: a four-point plan

Liquid milk is not a category that benefits from significant added value. While milk is on the shopping list, generally speaking, it is not...

Global factors hold sway over UK milk prices

The price farmers are paid for milk has again made national headlines in the UK - and again it is the country's supermarket chains in the fi...

Dean Best | 16 Jan 2012

Muller and Robert Wiseman Dairies are talking up the benefits of the German yoghurt maker's planned takeover of the UK milk supplier but profits in the sector have been under pressure in recent months.

Dean Best | 1 Aug 2011

With growth slowing in the UK, retail sales volumes down and promotions on the increase, even the better performing food manufacturers can betray a note of pessimism, writes Dean Best.

Dean Best | 16 Jun 2010

The spectre of the end of dairy quotas in the EU is prodding dairy processors across the continent to combine. | 4 Dec 2009

Little surprise that some of the choicest quotes of the week focused on Kraft Foods' pursuit of Cadbury. The US food giant faced criticism from UK union officials of its perceived lack of commitment over Cadbury jobs should it succeed in its quest for the confectioner. Supplier criticism was also revealed to be a key factor in the decision of First Milk's chief to leave the UK dairy co-op, while key dairy supplier, packaging giant Tetra Pak, warned the recession means consumer behaviour will never be the same again.

Latest Interviews

Dean Best | 23 May 2014

From a "sleeping giant" losing money to a "sustainable, good business", Adams Foods CEO Ian Toal says the UK arm of The Irish Dairy Board has made significant progress since he joined the business in 2011. What has driven the business? And how does it plan to grow further? Dean Best met Toal to find out.

Michelle Russell | 29 Jul 2011

The UK cheese sector is one of the most promotion-driven categories in the country, not least with consumer confidence low and retail volumes under pressure. This week, just-food travelled to the Nantwich Show, a key event in the industry's calendar, and met Richard Hollingdale, commercial director of the UK's largest dairy co-operative, First Milk. In this month's just-food interview, Hollingdale discusses the tough trading conditions at home and the company's ambitions overseas.

Latest News

Simon Harvey | 24 Jul 2018

First Milk has appointed Chris Thomas as chairman of the UK-based dairy cooperative to replace Clive Sharpe, who is stepping down for personal and professional reasons. | 21 Dec 2017

just-food presents the key metrics from company financials in bitesize format, with analyst insight and social media comment alongside graphs illustrating a business' historical performance to give you an easy-to-read digest of the numbers you need to know.

Simon Harvey | 19 Sep 2017

UK dairy company First Milk has announced plans to cut 30 jobs across its Lake District and Haverfordwest creameries as part of a productivity and efficiency drive.

Dean Best | 15 Mar 2017

First Milk today (15 March) named former Medina Dairy and Milk Link executive Shelagh Hancock as its new CEO, replacing Mike Gallacher who is stepping down after two years leading the UK cooperative.

Katy Askew | 2 Feb 2017

UK dairy cooperative First Milk said it has completed its turnaround process as it hailed a "radical transformation" that has enabled it to catch up on deferred payments to its farmer members. 

Dean Best | 15 Dec 2016

First Milk, the UK dairy cooperative, has reported improved profitability year-on-year in the first half of its financial year despite falling sales.

Dean Best | 2 Nov 2016

First Milk, the UK dairy co-operative, has forecast higher underlying operating profit in its current financial year.

Katy Askew | 26 Oct 2016

UK dairy cooperative First Milk has agreed to sell its sports nutrition  business CNP Professional to The Protein Partners Ltd. 

Katy Askew | 29 Apr 2016

First Milk, the UK dairy cooperative, said that it expects to return to profit as it updated its farmer-owners on the progress of its turnaround efforts. 

Katy Askew | 15 Jan 2016

Arla Foods has taken full control of UK business Westbury Dairies after joint venture partner First Milk decided to leave the partnership to focus on cheese and liquid milk. 

Hannah Abdulla | 27 Nov 2015

Ahead of the climate talks in Paris, Unilever announced plans to be carbon positive from its operations by 2030. Elsewhere, there was more consolidation in the US food sector, with Pinnacle Foods moving for Boulder Brands. Tyson Foods, Post Holdings and Greencore all had annual results out in the week. Maple Leaf Foods outlined plans to "streamline" its business, which is set to lead to the loss of 400 staff. Here is the week in quotes.

Dean Best | 25 Nov 2015

First Milk has offloaded Glenfield Dairy to fellow UK group Graham's The Family Dairy for an undisclosed sum.

Hannah Abdulla | 30 Oct 2015

First Milk has reported GBP24.9m (US$38.2m) worth of losses in the year ending 2015, a level chairman Sir Jim Paice called "not acceptable".

Hannah Abdulla | 30 Oct 2015

This week the World Health Organization confirmed findings of a link between processed meat consumption and colorectal cancer - sparking fierce debate in and around the industry. Elsewhere, Snyder's-Lance agreed a deal to buy Kettle Chips owner Diamond Foods for US$1.91bn. And just-food interviewed Bonduelle CFO Gregory Sanson, who hinted at the firm's renewed ambitions for M&A. Here is the week in quotes.

Dean Best | 27 Oct 2015

First Milk has set out changes to the way the UK dairy co-operative is run, the latest in a series of measures to try to improve its performance.

Helen Arnold | 8 Oct 2015

Brian Mackie has been appointed First Milk’s chief operating officer, the UK dairy co-operative has announced.

Hannah Abdulla | 26 Jun 2015

This week, members of The Consumer Goods Forum committed to halving food waste by 2025. Elsewhere, Ferrero made a bid to acquire UK confectioner Thorntons. Nestle appointed a new CFO to replace Wan Ling Martello and First Milk chairman, Sir Jim Paice, resigned. Here is the week in quotes.

Hannah Abdulla | 24 Jun 2015

UK dairy co-operative First Milk has announced its chairman, Sir Jim Paice, is to step down.

Dean Best | 19 Jun 2015

Challenging conditions in the global dairy sector were again confirmed when both First Milk and DMK reported lower earnings. European meat firm Vion, however, insisted that its results were "improved" on 2014 despite racking up losses in the period. Here are the results in brief for this week.

Katy Askew | 1 May 2015

UK dairy co-operative First Milk has announced plans to cut around 70 jobs and reduce the price it pays farmers as the group works to improve its financial position.

Hannah Abdulla | 1 May 2015

This week, Mondelez International reported its first-quarter results, with news of a solid performance in China. Elsewhere, Associated British Foods announced the launch of a high-protein bread in New Zealand. Yves Potvin, founder of meat-free brand Gardein, spoke to just-food about its plans under the ownership of Pinnacle Foods. And Kerry Group said moves to reposition its portfolio to focus on snacking trends were paying off. Here is the week in quotes.

Hannah Abdulla | 13 Mar 2015

UK dairy co-operative First Milk has appointed ex-Mars exec Mike Gallacher its new CEO.

Latest blogs

Dean Best | 11 Jan 2016

The industry veteran and former Burton's Biscuit Co. and Quorn Foods chairman is to take the role at First Milk, the UK dairy co-operative hoping to bounce back from a challenging 18 months or so.

Dean Best | 23 Oct 2015

First Milk's bid for recovery has seen the UK dairy co-operative appoint former Muller Wiseman Dairies, Milk Link and Adams Foods executive Carl Ravenhall to its board.

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