Dairy producer organisation Dairy Crest Direct will split from 27 December in order to represent farmers supplying both Dairy Crest and Müller.
The split – a result of Müller’s acquisition of Dairy Crest’s liquid milk division – will see the creation of a new company; Direct Milk DPO, which will represent 660 farmers supplying more than 1 billion litres of milk a year to Müller, and servicing standard liquid, liquid formula and aligned contracts for the likes of Waitrose, M&S and Sainsbury’s.
DCD will continue representing some 360 remaining farmers in the South West who supply milk into Dairy Crest’s Davidstow creamery in North Cornwall, for the production of Cheddars such as Cathedral City and demineralised whey powder for infant formula.
The structures of the evolved Dairy Crest Direct and Direct Milk DPO will continue to be run along the same lines as the original DPO, which was established by farmers supplying Dairy Crest in July, and offers members greater elected accountability, more financial independence and better representation across the supply chain.
Dairy Crest Direct’s chairman David Herdman will transfer to the same role with Direct Milk DPO, while DCD vice chairman Stephen Bone will become chairman of the new DCD.
“We look forward to representing our members who will supply Müller through our new organisation,” said Herdman.
“This evolution allows both groups to concentrate on the needs of their members in supplying two distinct milk processors,” he added. “Our initial aim is to establish the best way to integrate Direct Milk within the new larger Müller milk business, whilst DCD continues to work closely with Dairy Crest with its unique product mix at Davidstow.”
It was important that against the current unprecedented level of production and resulting pressure on dairy, that farmer representation remained as effective as possible, Herdman said. “I believe this transformation in our structures will assist with these goals.”