NFUS Outlines Five Year Plan

At the meeting of the NFU Scotland Council in Perth today (8 November), Chief Executive James Withers presented a draft five-year plan for the organisation. 

The plan, which will be completed by the year-end, maps out the direction of the organisation from 2011-2015.  Its focus is to further strengthen the scope, impact and influence of the organisation by developing its services for members and reflecting the new challenges faced by the farming industry across the country.

As well as building on its core role, the priorities in the plan include re-engaging with the younger generation, developing expertise in new areas – such as renewables, agri-tourism and on-farm retailing – and reviewing the structure of the organisation.

Addressing Council delegates, NFUS Chief Executive James Withers said:

“We are in a strong position as an organisation with solid finances and a membership that has been growing for the last four years. 

“From discussions we have had around the country in developing this plan, it is clear that the need for an effective voice for the industry is more important than ever.  However, nothing stands still.  The Union needs to adapt to a changing operating environment if we are to ensure a sustainable future for Scotland’s food and farming industry.

“There are a number areas we plan to focus on.  We need to re-engage with the younger generation of farmers and land managers.  Many of the issues that dominate our time – such as the future of CAP and rural development funding and a better functioning marketplace – will influence the next generation as much as the current.  We need them involved in what we do and we must be better at representing their views.

“The modern farm business is also changing.  There are thousands of our members moving into new areas, from renewable energy to on-farm retailing and tourism.  We need to adapt to reflect those emerging priorities.   In addition, it is time we looked again at how the structure of the organisation works.  11 years from the last major change, we are a different industry with different pressures.  Some elements of how the organisation functions are sound, others need to be improved.

“We are fortunate to have a staff body across Scotland who have vast experience and expertise in their fields.  In addition, we have talented members who give up their time to work on behalf of their peers and like-minded organisations that we have excellent relationships with.   We are also working against a backdrop of a political system in Scotland that values food and farming and a whole range of global drivers that are putting the industry back in the spotlight.  There are therefore huge opportunities ahead and we want to ensure we cement our position as the industry-leading organisation over the next five years to ensure we can grasp them.”   


Contact Wendy Fleming on 0131 472 4020

Date Published:

News Article No.: 158/10

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