Mark Robertson First Milk

Dairy co-op First Milk has snapped up Arla’s former vice president in charge of cheese manufacturing Mark Robertson as its new operations director.

Robertson started in his new role this week, replacing Kenny Bain, who is leaving to seek other challenges, First Milk said.

He has more than 30 years’ experience in the dairy sector and has also held senior roles at Milk Link and Glanbia. Robertson was Arla UK’s vice president for cheese before becoming responsible for cheddar and mozzarella production at 12 Arla sites across the UK and Denmark.

New First Milk CEO Shelagh Hancock, who took over from Mike Gallacher in March, said Robertson would enable the dairy co-op to further improve the “efficiency and productivity” of its operations.

“I am delighted to have been able to bring on board someone of Mark Robertson’s calibre and proven track record to lead this process at our manufacturing sites,” she added.

“He not only has a wealth of experience and knowledge of cheese and whey manufacturing, but also has considerable leadership qualities and a ‘will to win’ mentality that he has used to consistently deliver results.”

The outgoing Kenny Bain had made a “significant contribution to the turnaround of the business over the past two years to improve quality, reduce costs and successfully deliver significant capital investments to improve site capabilities”, Hancock said. “He departs at the end of the month with our best wishes.”