First Milk is to pay out nearly £2m to members in the wake of the company’s strong performance over the past year.

The farmer-owned co-operative announced this week it would pay a £1.85m processing interest payment to its members.

The payments are due to be made on 25 July, with a typical million-litre producer receiving just over £1000.
First Milk had pledged to make a processing interest payment within three years of its purchase of the cheese and ingredients business in October 2006, said chief executive Peter Humphreys.

“This payment is only one part of the broad capital structure proposals that we have been consulting on over the last few months,” said Humphreys. “All members will vote on these capital structure proposals at our agm in November.”

Humphreys added that the payment was not connected to price negotiations with customers.

In November First Milk reported turnover had risen from £476m to £484m.