Former UK government minister Sir Jim Paice is set to become chairman of dairy co-op First Milk.

Paice, who was minister for agriculture and food from 2010 to 2012, has been lined up to take the role when Bill Mustoe stands down at the co-op’s AGM in October.

Mustoe, 70, announced in April he would leave the position after four years in the job. He said First Milk was “delighted” to have recruited Paice.

“He brings considerable knowledge and experience of not only the domestic market, but also the international dynamics of the dairy industry,” Mustoe said.

Conservative MP Paice, who was shadow minister for agriculture and rural affairs for six years from 2004, said: “Having worked for a farmer owned business before I became an MP, and from being minister, I have always believed that farmers should work together to influence their own destiny. The dairy sector has gone through difficult times recently but I have long believed there is a good future for British dairy farmers and I look forward to helping to achieve it.”

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