Lancashire Dairies is allowing farmer suppliers more involvement in its business by offering them shares. The deal follows the completion of the first phase of LD's restructuring programme, developed with input from food chain business management consultants The Hartington Group. It was clinched at a joint meeting between LD's management team and 60 dairy farmers. LD chief executive Paul Kearns explained: "Farmers will be represented on the board and will influence company policy and direction." Howard Farquhar ­ THG interim manager specialising in food ­ said the move would give farmers more knowledge of LD's business, enabling more efficient and cost-effective product development: "This moves the business from reliance upon liquid milk sales to the added value end, where household name customers are crucial. Getting closer to the primary producer is central to that strategy." LD products currently include liquid drinks for Mars and Pedigree cat milk. {{NEWS }}