Pay freeze for Scots
SCOTTISH Milk directors were forced to accept a pay freeze at the annual meeting on Monday.
Chairman John Duncan proposed a 3% increase but producers at the meeting backed Dumfriesshire dairy farmer Stewart Jamieson who said the industry was in crisis and it would be a public relations failure for directors to accept a rise. Ordinary directors receive £8415 a year.
The wisdom of taking a 36% share in dairy company Drakemire was also questioned. It was suggested that profits did not cover the cost of borrowing £2m for the purchase.
"Drakemire is the fastest growing dairy company in Scotland," said Scottish Milks chief executive Jack Pirie. "It concentrates on UHT milk which is the only growth sector in the liquid market."
He also revealed that there was an option to buy the whole Drakemire business. Mr Duncan hinted that the £3.2m paid to producers as an end of year bonus might be held next year for capital investment in the processing side.