DAIRY producer co-op First Milk said this week that it had brought its member payment terms back into line, completing the turnaround process the business has been undergoing over the last two years.

With effect from February 10, the deferral of member payment terms made at the end of 2014 will be reversed, giving members a double payment, equivalent to six weeks money during February.

Co-op chairman Clive Sharpe said: “This move sends a clear signal on the progress made by First Milk and returns our payment terms to normal for our members. The board recognises the huge role members have played in the turnaround of their co-op, and thank them for their continued support.”

Since early 2015, FM has undergone a radical transformation, with a new leadership team and a new business strategy, that has improved operational performance, while shedding loss making subsidiaries. The co-op also confirmed that it has completed work on new long term financing arrangements, which will generate significant future savings versus current financing costs.

CEO Mike Gallacher commented: “First Milk is a very different to the business of early 2015. We are a lean, focused and financially secure business capable of delivering a competitive milk price for the long term. We have only been able to deliver the huge changes at First Milk because of the support of members. The business can deliver more for members and we will now get on with that.

“The role for a scale British dairy co-operative is even more compelling post Brexit and we aim to demonstrate this in the years ahead,” he added.