Dairy Farmers of Britain, the UK dairy co-operative in administration, has already received expressions of interest from potential suitors, the receivers looking after the business insisted today (4 June).
Stephen Oldfield, a partner at receivers at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told just-food that DFB had attracted interest from a “very wide” number of parties a day after going into administration.
PwC was called in after the co-operative’s moves to revamp the business failed to stem losses. The move leaves the future of the co-operative’s 2,200 staff and 1,800 farmer members up in the air.
Oldfield said DFB members would not be paid for the milk collected prior to his appointment as receiver yesterday afternoon.
NFU dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones said he was “furious” that farmers would not be paid for their milk.
“Given the amount of time DFB has had to prepare for what always seemed like the inevitable, to end up with this sorry mess this is an extremely bitter pill for DFB’s members,” Jones said.
“I know that many farmers are desperately concerned about not finding a buyer for their milk. This cannot be allowed to happen.”
Oldfield said DFB members would be paid for milk collected from now on and offered a two-week supply contract, which will then be renewed on a four-week rolling basis.
Nevertheless, the administrator said DFB suppliers would not be locked into their contracts and would be free to look for alternative customers.
Oldfield said DFB had fallen into a “spiral” that had ultimately led to the business falling into receivership.
“DFB had a loss-making liquid milk business that required a lot of investment to compete with the super-dairies,” Oldfield said.