The new president of NFU Scotland has pledged to “hit the ground running” to deliver on the unfinished business of CAP implementation, land and tenancy reform and new powers for Scotland.
Allan Bowie (54) beat off strong competition from fellow vice-president Rob Livesey and Aberdeenshire combinable crops committee chairman Andrew Moir in a contest that went to two votes.
In his acceptance speech Mr Bowie promised to do “all within his power” to get the best deal possible for Scottish agriculture in all commodities and across every region of the country.
“We need professional people who can sell our brand, and the consumer has to have buy-in here too, because if they don’t value what we’re doing, we’re on a hiding to nothing.”
“The challenges won’t go away,” he said. “The immediate priorities are supply chain issues. It’s about investment, and getting us profitable.
“There are hard decisions to be made on investment and marketing. We need professional people who can sell our brand, and the consumer has to have buy-in here too, because if they don’t value what we’re doing, we’re on a hiding to nothing.”
Mr Bowie said he would also do things differently from his predecessor, and was keen to delegate some of the work.
He added: “I want the regional and commodity chairmen to do their bit. I’ll be behind them and I’ll front big stuff, but I want them to come up with policies and do what their grassroots members want.”
Mr Bowie farms in partnership with his wife and son in north-east Fife and Clackmannanshire on contract farming agreements that extend to 300ha. He has been vice-president since February 2009.
Rob Livesey, from the Borders, and Dumfriesshire farmer Andrew McCornick were elected as vice-presidents for a two-year term. The unsuccessful vice-presidential candidates were Andrew Moir from Kincardineshire, Kelvin Pate from the Borders and John Smith from Kintyre.