13 April 2000
Outsider to head Scots meat body

A BUSINESSMAN with no previous involvement in agriculture, has been appointed chairman of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Neil Kilpatrick was formerly chief executive for western Europe with international firm PA Consulting.

His independence and “freedom from baggage” is seen as vital by all involved in the QMS, the new body which will be responsible for farm assurance and the promotion of beef, lamb and pork.

Mr Kilpatrick says his first task is to appoint a director general for QMS.

Only then can work begin to integrate the Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association (SQBLA), the Scottish Pig Industry Initiative (SPII), and the work of the Meat and Livestock Commission in Scotland, he says.

Welcoming the appointment, Scottish farm minister Ross Finnie said “His track record in strategic planning, financial management and the merging of companies, together with his wide international experience, will be of considerable value.

“Strong leadership of Quality Meat Scotland is so important for the future of our meat and livestock industry, and I am sure that Neil will provide that.”

Jim Walker, president of the Scottish NFU, added “Neil is completely independent and that is what we wanted. We need a chairman with a fresh pair of eyes and no baggage.”

Mr Kilpatrick, who admits that his only connection with farming is that he lives in the countryside, says he has a great deal to learn.

During the coming weeks, through visits and meetings, he intends to learn as much as possible about the current state of Scotlands meat industry.