Sharpe appointed First Milk chairman

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

MIke Sharpe is the new chairman of First Milk
MIke Sharpe is the new chairman of First Milk

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First Milk has announced the appointment of Clive Sharpe as chairman. Sharpe, who has had a career in food manufacturing spanning 35 years, will take over February 1. 

Following the arrival of the new CEO, Mike Gallacher, at the end of March 2015, First Milk has implemented a turnaround plan, following a number of years of poor business performance.

First Milk stated that actions taken to significantly reduce costs, improve quality, and drive operational performance have led to an improved financial position. Operating profits of £1.1m were delivered for the six months to September 30, 2015, an improvement of $12.6m (£8.7m) on the prior year. Debt has also continued to reduce, and at the end of November 2015 was $57.3m (£39.7m), compared to $87.6m (£60.7m) as at March 2015.

Gallacher, said, “I am looking forward to working closely with Clive who brings a wealth of commercial and leadership experience to the new First Milk team. The business has made rapid progress in difficult circumstances over the last nine months and this appointment, together with accompanying changes in our Board structure will strengthen our cooperative for the long term.”

Sharpe added, “I am attracted by the potential of First Milk and the opportunity to get the company working well for its farmer owners.”

Sale of dairy after review

Following the completion of a full strategy review over the summer, the company announced the sale of its Glenfield Dairy business based in Fife, Scotland to Graham's the Family Dairy in November.

First Milk is the UK's only major dairy company, 100% owned by British farmers.  It supplies a wide range of dairy products and dairy ingredients to customers in national and international markets including block cheeses, raw milk, butter, skimmed milk powder, whey proteins and sports nutrition brands.

It is headquartered in Glasgow with six manufacturing sites across England, Scotland and Wales.

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