9 February 1996

Dare quits Milk Marque post but retains strong co-op link

By Shelley Wright

ANDREW Dare is stepping down as Milk Marque chief executive.

From July 1 he will be replaced by David Yeomans, MMs director of operations.

But Mr Dare is not completely severing his links with the co-op. He will continue to work two days a week as corporate director and will retain his seat on the board.

He will be responsible for major strategic developments and will continue to steer MMs external relations.

Ian Watson, MM chairman, paid tribute to Mr Dares commitment and achievements. "Andrew has expressed a wish for more time to develop his non-competitive interests, which he has put on ice to help us through deregulation and the launch of Milk Marque.

"The board recognises the huge contribution Andrew has made to the industry and we are delighted he will be remaining with Milk Marque as an executive director," Mr Watson said.

Mr Dare said his decision should not surprise anyone. "I have always said that I would only work full time with Milk Marque for a relatively short period of time because I always wanted to go back to my consultancy business, with directorships in other companies. David will do a superb job and I am still going to be around to help."

New code of practice

Returning to the need for MM members to move forward, Mr Dare announced a new producer code of practice. "The Welfare of the Dairy Cow", developed with Sainsbury, achieved MMs aims of producing standards that would be considered acceptable by most consumers, he said.

The full code will be released to producers in April and initially it will be up to individuals to monitor their own achievements. But Mr Dare admitted that, once the scheme was fully operational, random checks might be introduced. And producers might be "encouraged" through the price system to meet the standards.

Mr Dare hoped that the code, based on the "five freedoms", would eventually be adopted as the industry standards.

&#8226 Dairy farmers owe a huge amount to Milk Marque chief executive, Andrew Dare, according to Hugh Richards, NFU milk committee chairman. "He dragged the entire industry, kicking and screaming, out of the 1930s mentality and into the 90s. Producers owe him so much," said Mr Richards, speaking after the NFU milk surgery at the agm.

Richard Smith, chairman of the Northern Milk Partnership, suggested one reason behind Mr Dares decision was that he knew how many producer resignations were already on the MM table.

But Mr Smith agreed Mr Dare had done a tremendous job in establishing Milk Marque.

Producers at the milk surgery welcomed the introduction of farm assurance schemes and viewed them as a positive way forward for the whole industry.

But Mr Richards said there was some concern at the number of different schemes, and delegates had instructed the milk committee to produce an NFU scheme that embraced the good points of the existing ones.

The committee distributed papers to producers at the surgery on the future of the quota system. Various options were detailed and delegates were asked to go back to their regions, discuss the choices and report back.

Overall, the milk surgery had been a much more "upbeat affair" this year, said Mr Richards. People had become used to the free market and there was not as much panic about quota prices.