Six young First Milk dairy farmers from Cumbria and South-West Scotland have just concluded a unique two year leadership programme. The Nestlé and First Milk Next Generation of Dairy Leaders group met at Nestlé’s Gatwick head office to share their experiences with programme sponsors and other stakeholders, including First Milk CEO, Shelagh Hancock, senior members of Nestlé’s Supply Chain and Nescafé Marketing teams, and other industry bodies such as EFFP (European Food and Farming Partnerships) and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
The session started with a whistle-stop tour of where the programme had taken the young farmers over two years. The seven sessions covered visits to the other members’ farms to share best practice and different techniques; tours of the Nestlé factories in Dalston and Girvan where their milk is used; upskilling sessions in supply chain and business leadership at the Nestlé offices; and a trip down to Westminster to learn about agri-politics, culminating in a meeting with George Eustice, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
The Next Generation group also presented the conclusions of their individual study topics, which included subjects such as dairy company sustainability programmes and promotion of the farmer story; on-farm lean management techniques; tailoring milk constituents to contract requirements and financial benchmarking.
They day was concluded with a sum up of the programme and how it had added value for the young farmers. The farmers shared the benefits of participating in the scheme, their learnings from visiting other farms and the factories they supply, and from hearing about the wider context of the agricultural sector.
The key takeaway was how the Nestlé and First Milk programme had formed them into a tight-knit group of like-minded peers that were all striving to get the best out of their farm in a sustainable way, and grow the industry as a whole.
Kevin Lawrie, a young farmer from Scotland, said:
“Upon reflection on the flight home I realised just how special the programme was and the opportunity I have been given! I can only thank you again for the past two years and thank you for the positive impact the programme has had on me as a person! Nestlé is a fantastic company to be part of and I hope the partnership between Nestlé, First Milk and the farmers can grow from strength to strength for a very long time to come!"
Robin Sundaram, Milk Buyer & Responsible Sourcing Manager at Nestlé UK and Ireland, said:
“The reason the programme has been so important and where it has made the difference is that we are much closer to our farmers and to First Milk now and they are much closer to Nestlé. Our partnership and collaboration has started well and is just going to grow and means that we are going to have a much better quality milk and a relationship that is fit for the future”.
Hear more from Robin here:
For more information please contact:
Nestlé UK Press Office on 020 8667 6005 or email [email protected]