Promoting young talent is one of DMK’s top priorities, as after all, the future of the cooperative lies in the hands of its members. This led to the founding of the young milk producers working group (AKJM), a committee for young farmers up to the age of 30. The AKJM is not an official body of the cooperative, but it prepares its members to hold honorary office later in their careers, so the committees have a steady supply of new energy.
The AKJM members are given information about the development of DMK, the milk market and agricultural policy. They learn about what the cooperative’s governing bodies do and are given further personal and professional training in courses and meetings. The focus is a combination of current business topics and future issues.
The 72 members of the AKJM usually meet up three to four times a year and right now, those meetings are taking place online. Internal and external speakers give presentations on aspects of the dairy market at the meetings. The group also goes on tours of DMK dairy sites or discusses current farming issues. Once a year, the members take a trip together to a place that’s important to the dairy market and industry issues. Past trips have included traveling to Brussels to visit a dairy and meet agricultural ministers from the European Parliament.
AKJM members were appointed at the end of last year and Christoph Prüser, 25 years old, was among them. He runs a family farm in Scheeßel, Lower Saxony together with his parents. “For me, it’s important to get closer to the dairy and to understand the interplay between day-to-day business and market developments. I also appreciate the opportunity to build up a network outside the region where I live, and to benefit from the experience of other young professionals – that’s why I’m looking forward to getting involved in AKJM in the future,” Christoph Prüser says of what motivated him to join the group.
Christoph Prüser, on his farm in Scheeßel, Lower Saxony.
Their work is essential for the dairy to function: P People who take on an honorary post at DMK in addition to their agricultural work. Whether as a member of an advisory board, a representative, or on the supervisory board or executive board: Members of the cooperative join these bodies and create a key bridge between the company and the farmers. More than 300 colleagues currently hold honorary positions at the cooperative and in the company.
Democracy needs participation
In a democracy, people elect representatives to parliament – the Bundestag in Germany – where they shape the government’s agenda. It’s no different at DMK. The 242 members of the representatives’ meeting make up the cooperative’s highest decision-making body. Each person represents 25 members. The representatives elect the supervisory board, decide on amendments to the articles of association, approve the annual financial statement and decide how the annual net profit should be spent. Elections to the representatives’ meeting took place at the end of last year.
The cooperative’s advisory board is made up of the 66 members elected in the electoral districts, who stay in office for five years. The advisory board discusses all of the major strategic decisions of the DMK Group and its cooperative. Additionally, the advisory board enables the exchange of information between members and the executive bodies, and can propose candidates for election to the executive board and supervisory board. As a rule, the advisory board meets four times a year.
Membership of the supervisory board and executive board
The supervisory board is another important body. It is made up of 12 members, six employee representatives and six employer representatives. All remain in office for a term of five years. The supervisory board appoints the cooperative’s executive board and is there to monitor its activities. In the dairy, the supervisory board monitors and supports the work of the management.
The eight members of the cooperative’s executive board are generally appointed for around five years. The executive board manages the cooperative. Those who hold honorary positions at DMK safeguard the self-determination of the cooperative of milk producers – so their voluntary work for the cooperative cannot be valued highly enough.