7 November 2001
Haskins to give up the day jobs?

By Adrienne Francis

NORTHERN FOODS and Express Dairies have refused to comment on speculation that Lord Haskins is about to quit as chairman of both companies.

An e-mail sent to 2000 dairy farmers by quota brokers Ian Potter Associates claims that the Labour Peer will announce he is stepping down next week.

“Lord Christopher Haskins is to step down on Friday, 17 November as chairman of Northern Foods and Express Dairies,” the email says.

But Northern Foods and Express Dairies declined to comment on the claim.

John Royden, a self-described corporate carpetbagger, believes Lord Haskins should resign after a substantial fall in the value of Express Dairy shares.

Mr Royden was due to meet Lord Haskins on Wednesday (7 November), ahead of interim results for Express Dairies which are due on Friday 16 November.

Ian Potter, chairman of Ian Potter Associates, said: “Clearly any fool can see that the board of Express have been pursuing the wrong goals.”

Farmers were annoyed that the “white stuff” milk advertising campaign had been postponed while Express directors decided whether to continue funding it, he said.

“If Express is seen to be jittery about financially committing to the promotion campaign, it may cause other companies to reconsider as well,” added Mr Potter.