Few Aspatria dairy farmers sign with First Milk

Only 20 of the Dairy Crest Direct members currently supplying First Milk’s Aspatria creamery have agreed to continue to supply First Milk.

The deadline for signing up to the processor, which bought the dairy from Dairy Crest last year, passed last week (1 February).

Milk buyers had been clamouring for the 200 farmers’ milk for several weeks, with Meadow Foods, Milk Link, Partners in Cheese and Caledonian Cheese also looking to secure supplies.

First Milk had been the first buyer to set a deadline, and admitted some dairy farmers may have been put off by the early date.

“The majority of members were waiting for the outcome of the due diligence of Cumbria Vision on the Partners in Cheese plant,” a spokesman from First Milk said.

“We set the deadline because we wanted to be clear about where our milk was coming from and we needed to start work on setting up a direct supply pool from Aspatria for Asda.

“If any farmers decide they want to join us at a later date we will look at them on an individual basis,” he added.

Related stories:

Buyers in clamour to buy dairy farmers’ milk 25 January 2007
Dairy Crest Direct members back Cumbrian cheese plant 17 January 2007
Cumbrian cheese vision looks a step nearer reality 03 January 2007
Cumbrian cheese factory talks set for tomorrow 19 December 2006
All systems go for Dairy Crest and First Milk deal 
28 September 2006