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Union Reports Robust Set of Accounts for 2013

Ambitious recruitment drive planned for 2014

In its Centenary year, NFU Scotland is reporting that the business is in robust health and that further investment in staff and services will see the Union enter its second century on the front foot.

To build on that momentum, the Union has set an ambitious target of recruiting 1000 new members in the next 24 months to swell its existing membership of 8600 farmers, growers and crofters.

In its annual accounts, the Union recorded a small operating profit of just over £21,500, enabling it to restrict 2014 membership subscription increases to only one percent (following a subscription freeze in 2013).  The solid financial performance has allowed planned staff increases to take place with new people, including the Union’s first ever full time Parliamentary Officer, starting in the New Year.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Chief Executive Scott Walker said:
“Every year, all members take a voluntary decision to pay us a subscription and we can never afford to take their support for granted.

“For that subscription, we must ensure Scottish farming continues to have the strongest voice possible in the political corridors of Europe, Westminster and Holyrood.  It must also enable us to engage more closely than ever with those who supply services to farm businesses and those major end users – such as processors, retailers or drinks companies – who buy the produce that comes from our farms.

“But most importantly, it must allow us to deliver a personal service to each and every individual member when they need our help or advice.  That service starts at local secretary level, through the regions and into head office staff and officeholders.

“Given all that the Union has to offer, I have set our people a challenge to grow our numbers by 1000 by the end of 2015.  That growth would build on our industry-leading role in representing Scottish farming and ensure we deliver the services that members deserve.

“If you need an example of the Union in action, then you need look no further than our response to the decision of 2 Sisters to scale back the production of chicken in Scotland.  Within the first few days and weeks, the Union had organised meetings with affected farmers, supported the formation of Scottish Chicken Growers Association, put legal support in to help, contacted all major supermarkets about the issue and got growers round the table with the processors.  A positive response driven by having a strong Union in place.

“To be as effective as we are, it is important that we recruit and retain talented staff who are committed to doing the best for members and Scottish agriculture. In January, we will have a full time Parliamentary Officer join us, recognising that effective lobbying on behalf of Scottish farming is one of our core functions.

“By running the organisation efficiently it has been possible to grow our staff body and keep subscription rates in check. Subscription rates will increase in 2014 by only one percent following a freeze in 2013 at the 2012 level.

“I am confident that NFU Scotland is in a better position than it has ever been and that the support of our 8,600 members will keep the Union on the front foot.”

Notes to Editors

  • Members of NFU Scotland will receive a copy of the Union’s annual report and accounts with the January issue of the Union’s monthly membership magazine, The Scottish Farming Leader.
  • After posting a small operating loss last year of £6,269, NFU Scotland is back in the black again this year with an operating profit of £21,572.
  • With no extraordinary items this year and dividends and interest of £67,597 and tax of £6,201, the net profit for the year is £82,968, down £6,493 on the previous year’s number of £89,461.
  • The balance sheet remains strong with cash at bank of £574,810, down by £70,122 on last year’s balance of £644,932, primarily due to increased long-term investment and fixed asset purchases.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006 or Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 160/13


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