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Omsco announces appointment of David Williams as Chief Executive

Omsco announces appointment of David Williams as Chief Executive

The Board of Omsco, the UK’s largest organic dairy co-operative, is pleased to announce the appointment of David Williams as its Chief Executive. David will assume the newly created role of Chief Executive at the start of April.

A skilled and experienced business leader, David has over 25 years’ experience of working in the dairy industry. This includes holding several board and senior executive posts in major UK and European farmer-owned dairy co-operatives.

David has held a number of senior-level finance roles in Arla Foods Amba, the co-operative owned by c.10,000 European dairy farmers and one of the world’s largest dairy food manufacturers. He is currently Arla’s Global Head of Finance, Members, Milk & Trading, based at its Head Office in Viby, Denmark.

Before joining Arla, David was for 7 years the Corporate Finance and Strategy Director for Milk Link, the leading UK dairy co-operative, and prior to that its Finance Director. In these roles, he played an important part in helping to develop and implement Milk Link’s transition into a progressive farmer-owned dairy processing business.

David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and holds a BSC (Hons) degree from Queen Mary College, University of London.

Welcoming the appointment, Neil Kennedy, Chairman of Omsco said:

“I am delighted to announce David’s appointment as Chief Executive of Omsco.

“He has proven leadership skills which are complemented by his having a deep knowledge of the dairy industry and a significant track record of working with leading farmer-owned dairy businesses. I believe the combination of both his dairy industry and co-operative experience makes David ideally positioned to lead the business as we enter the next phase in our growth and development.

“As Omsco’s new Chief Executive, David will oversee and drive forward the development of our value-added strategy based on investing in processing, products & brands. One which will ultimately help us achieve our core objective of delivering a sustainable, industry leading organic milk price for our Members.”

Commenting on his appointment David Williams said:

“I am both delighted and very proud to be assuming the role of Chief Executive of Omsco. I look forward to working with Neil Kennedy, the Board of Directors, the Executive

and the wider Omsco team to accelerate the growth and development of the business. Omsco has clearly made good progress in moving from simply being a broker of organic milk to establishing a strategic presence in value-added processing and more premium markets, both in the UK and overseas. The challenge now is to build upon these strong foundations and create evermore valuable and sustainable outlets for our Members’ organic milk – a challenge I’m incredibly excited to take on.”

Omsco comes 1st

Omsco comes 1st

in the Best Organic Hard Cheese class…
in the first ever Virtual Cheese Awards

  • Due to the Covid-19 crisis, most cheese awards and shows around the country have been cancelled. So, Nigel Pooley ( Cheese Grader and Product Development Manager from Wyke Farms ) and Sarah de Wit ( Ex  Asda chief cheese taster and consultant  ) decided to launch the world’s first Virtual Cheese Awards.
  • Judging of the classes took place  last week at various locations around the country with the final judging to  announce Category winners and Supreme Champion taking place live on Saturday 18 July.
  • The event was to celebrate the cheese industry, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness of the specialist British cheese producers who have suffered through the current crisis. All profits from the Virtual Cheese Awards are being  donated to the Specialist Cheesemakers Association and RABI.
  • The awards covered 31 British classes of cheese including Creamery Cheddar, Best Cheshire, Best Lancashire, Best Wensleydale, Best stilton, Best Organic Hard Cheese and so on .
  • Our winning entry, from a field of six was Organic Kingdom Mature Cheddar, which scored maximum points in its class and  also took third spot  in the Best Specialty Cheese Category.
  • We are delighted to have won another cheese award again so building on the successes we enjoyed at the various cheese shows in 2019

Nicholas Saphir to hand over chair of organic dairy co-op Omsco

The Board of Omsco is pleased to announce that Neil Kennedy will take over as chairman of Omsco from Monday 4 May 2020. After 18 years as executive chairman of Omsco Nicholas Saphir will hand over the reins for the next exciting phase of the co-operative’s development.

Nicholas Saphir to hand over chair of organic dairy co-op Omsco

The Board of Omsco is pleased to announce that Neil Kennedy will take over as chairman of Omsco from Monday 4 May 2020.

After 18 years as executive chairman of Omsco Nicholas Saphir will hand over the reins for the next exciting phase of the co-operative’s development.

Nicholas has steered the company from being a small specialist organic producer group to become the world's second largest dedicated organic dairy co-operative.

“Omsco has come a long way. From small beginnings Omsco is now a co-operative of 250 farmer members who produce over 50% of the UK's organic milk supply. Our long-standing partnerships in the UK with Yeo Valley and Wyke and in the USA with Organic Valley (CROPP) have been the cornerstones of our success. Omsco’s opportunities at home as well as our added value exports to markets from the USA and EU to Australasia, place Omsco in an excellent position to take advantage of the future” he explains.

“Success is totally down to the readiness of our members to innovate. They have responded to market demands and standards, supporting a management team which is committed to seeing the future as part of a global market.”

Nicholas says that Omsco has punched well above its weight during the last 25 years; “I’m proud to have been involved with such a forward-thinking group of farmers, management and customers. I’m confident that, under Neil’s chairmanship, Omsco and its members will continue to prosper in an increasingly changing world."

Neil has been a non-Executive Director on the Omsco Board since 2016. He is also Chairman and co-owner of Crediton Dairy, Chairman of Rodda’s, and a non-Executive Director of Belton Cheese and Ornua UK. He was Chief Executive of Milk Link from 2008-2012, having worked across the dairy industry for over 30 years.

Commenting on his appointment Neil stated that; “I am delighted to be taking over as Chairman of Omsco from Nicholas, who leaves the business well placed for the next phase in our development.”


Issued by Ali Parker, Pinstone Communications,, 01568 617664

About Omsco

Omsco was formed in 1994 by five dairy farmers with a shared belief that there was a ‘better way to farm’. Their collaboration created the UK’s first national pool of organic milk. Now twenty-five years old, Omsco has 250 members nationwide, produces over 50% of the UK’s organic milk and has a global market for its dairy products and ingredients.

It is the largest UK organic dairy cooperative and the second largest dedicated organic milk pool in the world with an annual turnover reaching £100m.

Omsco supplies much of the UK’s organic dairy processing needs, including 75% of organic Cheddar sales, and is Britain’s leading exporter of organic cheese, butter, raw milk, whey and specialist ingredients to the EU, USA, Australasia and Asia. Read more about Omsco here:

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