Jeff Halliwell has been appointed managing director of the First Milk Cheese Company, the new arm of the farmer-owned dairy co-operative, First Milk.

Halliwell joins the company, which has been formed following First Milk's acquisition of Dairy Crest's own label cheese business, from Northern Foods, where he was divisional director for the bakery division.

Reporting to chief executive Peter Humphreys, Halliwell will be responsible for managing the integration of the Dairy Crest facilities into First Milk, and building on established customer relationships.

"The establishment of the First Milk Cheese Company offers our customers a great opportunity," said Halliwell. "In an environment where supermarkets are increasingly looking to add innovation and value, the First Milk Cheese Company is a farmer-owned business focused on working with them to develop their private label cheese offering."