Industry Award Recognises Exceptional Contribution

Joint News Release on behalf of SAOS and NFU Scotland

The Ed Rainy Brown Memorial Award for 2016 has been presented to an inspirational figure in Scottish agriculture’s vegetable sector, Alistair Ewan.

In December last year, Alistair stepped away from East of Scotland Growers (ESG) after 26 years as Managing Director. Katy Rainy Brown presented Alistair with the award at last night’s SAOS Annual Conference Dinner at Crieff Hydro Hotel (Thursday 28 January).

 ESG members predominantly grow broccoli and cauliflower and, during Alistair’s tenure as Managing Director, the co-op has grown to become the main supplier of broccoli to UK supermarkets and became one of the first Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisations in Scotland.

 Alistair was at the forefront of the Research and Development, both in the UK and overseas, which have been key to ESG’s success. He was instrumental in the development of Beneforté ‘super healthy’ broccoli and his drive and commitment have benefitted the whole industry, through his representation on NFU Scotland’s committee for soft fruit and field vegetables and also through his work in the AHDB Research and Knowledge Transfer programme.

Tributes to Alistair’s exceptional contribution to co-operation within the industry were led by George Lawrie, who is both Chairman of SAOS and Treasurer of NFU Scotland.

Announcing the winner, George commented: “Alistair's contribution to East of Scotland Growers and the wider industry has been immense - both continue to benefit from innovative production techniques and the development of new varieties and products which Alistair drove and pioneered.  

“He spoke at our SAOS conference a couple of years ago under the title ‘Innovation for Resilience’. His messages about ‘knowing your customer’ were fascinating and insightful then, and remain equally, if not more, relevant today: ‘Understand their strategies. Understand your ultimate market. Maximise your return via all routes.’   Alistair’s passion, determination and insight have benefitted us all.”

Since stepping down at ESG, Alistair has taken up the position of Executive Director for Scottish Quality Crops and is exploring new potential consultancy opportunities and project work.

Notes to Editors:

  • NFU Scotland and SAOS jointly sponsor the Ed Rainy Brown Memorial Award.  Ed was previously Chief Executive of both organisations and the award was dedicated to his memory, following his tragic death in 2003. The award is presented to an individual in the farming, forestry, aquaculture or associated industries who has made an exceptional contribution within their specific field.
  • For a picture of Alistair Ewan receiving his award, please contact Jennifer Grant, SAOS Communications and PR Manager, on 07967 661775 or


Contact Jennifer Grant on 0131 472 4104/07967 661775

Date Published:

News Article No.: 25/16

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