Scottish farming co-ops body SAOS appoints new chair and vice chair

Mark Clark and John Hutcheson have been welcomed into the new roles

The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) has appointed a new chair and vice chair at its AGM.

Mark Clark takes over from George Lawrie as chair of the organisation, which supports co-ops and collaboration in Scottish farming. The new vice chair is John Hutcheson.

Mr Clark is managing director of Grampian Growers, which has developed and expanded its range of varieties of seed potatoes, as well as daffodil bulbs and flowers, to explore new export markets.

Mr Hutcheson is director of Tay Forth Machinery Ring, of GrainCo Scotland and, is a member of the producer group for Quaker PepsiCo.

SAOS said: “We are delighted that Mark has accepted the role of chairman and we look forward to working more closely with him.”

Mr Clark said: “This is a very challenging, but also exciting time to lead SAOS. The challenges to agriculture continue to increase rather than dissipate, and farm profitability is under more and more pressure, but I believe that the structure of SAOS, the strong leadership and very committed staff will result in continued success in the future.

“I firmly believe that greater co-operation within the industry is one of the few answers to many of the problems we face and SAOS is well-placed to facilitate the anticipated growth of the co-op sector.”

New vice chair John Hutcheson

Mr Hutcheson added: “SAOS continues to adapt and develop the services that our co-op members require and ensure that the correct resource is in place to do this. Rural businesses need to communicate and collaborate more with each other; I think there is further potential for rings to work with each other in order to lower input costs and extend the range of services available.

“I’d also like to see more producer-controlled marketing groups for primary produce, with the aim of creating greater price leverage in the marketplace and quality assurance branding that targets specific customer requirements.”

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