17 April 1998
Another 11 out at Milk Marque
By Catherine Hughes
MILK Marque has made seven staff redundant, and four more have resigned. These follow the departure of chief executive David Yeomans, who left last week.
The staff cuts are part of the dairy co-operatives plan to cut its costs by £3 million this year.
As well as shedding staff, Milk Marque plans to increase the shifts operated by milk tankers, meaning more out-of-hours collection from farms, to improve transport efficiency.
Other savings will come from a cut in the number of shows attended. The co-op will have stands at only the Royal Show, the Royal Welsh and the Dairy Event.
Little is known about why Mr Yeomans decided to step down after only two years as chief executive. Company secretary Paul Beswick has been promoted to managing director.
Milk Marques long-term antagonists, the Dairy Industry Federation, welcomed Mr Beswicks promotion. Gordon Summerfield, DIF president, said he hoped the federation could look forward to constructive dialogue with the farmers co-op. “It is clear that the current selling system isnt working and needs reforming,” he said.
“But lets not forget,” he added, “It was Milk Marque which developed the selling system and negotiated assurances with the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) without involvement from the dairy companies.
“We are willing to discuss improvements to the system and that offer remains,” said Mr Summerfield. “I think everyone would welcome a period of stability and predictability in raw milk supply.”
For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 17-23 April, 1998