Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farms and Food in the Welsh Government, this week met with Mike Gallacher, First Milk CEO.
The turnaround plan for the First Milk business and the company’s cheese processing plant in Haverfordwest were the main subjects on the agenda.
Rebecca Evans said “I was pleased to hear about the turnaround plans at First Milk and that recent changes and business focus are starting to have an impact. The company recognises the pressures that their farmers are facing, and Mike Gallacher laid out a number of steps that will support the improvement of returns to their farmers in Wales.
“I recently toured the creamery in Haverfordwest and was impressed with the factory and the Pembrokeshire cheese that they produce. We agreed that it was important that First Milk and the Welsh Government work closely together as the company moves towards a stronger platform.
“I remain confident that our Welsh dairy industry has a good future and looks to expand and develop new markets. There are some signs that milk supply and demand is coming more into balance, indicating that there could be some improvement for dairy markets.”
Mike Gallacher said “It was a very constructive meeting with Rebecca Evans and I appreciated her offer of support in a number of areas. With over 300 farms across Wales, I understand the Welsh Government’s desire to have a stronger First Milk.
“The plans we have put in place are aimed at delivering regular profits streams which is the basis of returning more to our farmer members. The new milk pricing system we announced last month will make the milk price we pay more transparent, so that our members can have direct line of sight on the returns we receive for their milk.
“I was also grateful that the Deputy Minister accepted an invite to meet me at Haverfordwest creamery later in the year. In the meantime, our teams will remain in close contact.”