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Former SAOS Chief Executive Takes NFUS Ambassador Award

NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual’s prestigious Ambassador Award has been presented to James Graham for his outstanding contribution to Scottish agriculture during his time at the helm of SAOS, Scotland’s experts on farmer co-ops and food industry collaboration.

Established in 2009, the award was set up to recognise those individuals who, through their own efforts, have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and the value of Scottish food and farming to a wider audience.

James began his career with SAOS in 1986, becoming Chief Executive in 1998, and after spending almost 21 years in the post and announced last year his intention to step down.  

On top of his extensive work as SAOS Chief Executive, James is a founder member of Scotland Food & Drink’s Partnership Board, and Co-Chair of Scotland Food & Drink’s Supply Chain Board.

There are very few people who have done as much for the Scottish supply chain, having had a lead role in some of the most important developments in the last 20 years. These include the development of ScotEID and Scotland’s livestock traceability system.

James was announced as the winner of the NFUS/NFU Mutual Ambassador trophy at NFU Scotland’s annual dinner, attended by more than 420 guests and delegates, and held in Glasgow tonight (7 February).

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker, who has worked closely with James throughout his career, said: “James is a person who many people in the farming and food industry will have turned to at some point in time.  Always willing to give time to provide well considered advice and support, he has helped many people and businesses over the years.  

“James can rightly claim to have played a part in the growth and success of many co-operative businesses as well as supporting the development of many people who work in the industry.

 “A strong advocate for the co-operative sector and its benefits, he has championed collaborative working.  Working through Scotland Food and Drink, he has helped drive an ambition to grow the food and drink industry in Scotland while ensuring that farmers and crofters’ benefit. Willing to challenge the status, quo James has supported and driven innovative ways to solve problems and issues.

“He leaves behind a very strong organisation in SAOS very much shaped by him.  There are lots of people across the industry who will have benefited from his advice and will count him as a friend.”   

Notes to Editors

  • The NFU Scotland/NFU Mutual Ambassador Award recognises those who have excelled at representing the nation’s agricultural and food industries.  Past winners have included Ken Rundle, Dan Buglass (posthumous), Lady Claire MacDonald, David Leggat, John Cameron, Ian Duncan Millar, Joe Watson (posthumous), Ewan Pate, Bobby and Anne Lennox, and Marion McCormick.
  • Photographs of James Graham collecting the Ambassador award at the Union’s annual dinner will be available from 10.00am on 8 February from media@nfus.org.uk or call 07788 927675.
  • Established in 2009, the award was set up to recognise those individuals who, through their own efforts, have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and the value of Scottish food and farming to a wider audience.


Ends

Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4059

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 12/19


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