Scottish agri co-op stalwart honoured at SAOS conference

Andrew Moir was given the Ed Rainy Brown Memorial Award for his ‘many years of co-operation and collaboration in farming, food, and rural Scotland’

The 2024 Ed Rainy Brown Memorial Award has been presented to Andrew Moir in recognition of his many years of co-operation and collaboration in farming, food, and rural Scotland.

Moir was presented with the award at the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) Conference Dinner at Dunblane Hydro on 18 January by Katy Rainy Brown.

SAOS says Moir has played a key role in Scottish agriculture and has been “a great source of encouragement and good sense for youngsters and new entrants to the industry. He has embodied co-operation in Scottish agricultural with passion and enthusiasm.”

Announcing the award, SAOS chair John Hutcheson told how Moir has served the Scottish farming industry in a host of different ways over many years, including as chair of SAOS members Ringlink Scotland Ltd and Scottish Quality Crops, and vice-chair of the Scottish Machinery Rings Association.

He has also held prominent roles with NFU Scotland, which jointly sponsors the award.

Within the wider industry, Andrew is a key member of the Agricultural Reform Implementation Oversight Board (ARIOB), which was established to support the implementation of agriculture policy reform. He is also past chair of AgriScot, and Voluntary Initiative in Scotland, and was on AHDB’s Combinable Crops Board for several years.

Related: Report from the SAOS annual conference

He is a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society and honorary president of Fettercairn Show.

Moir runs his own contract farming business at Mains of Thorton, Laurencekirk. Before farming in his own right, he was a farm manager with the Co-operative Farms, initially on a 650 acres dairy/arable farm but latterly looking after 4,500 acres across nine businesses from Perthshire to Aberdeenshire, mainly in contract farming arrangements.

In 2021, he chaired the influential Arable Climate Change Group, one of the five farmer-led groups established by Scottish government. Its purpose was to recommend practical, evidence-based measures that the arable and horticulture sector could implement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrate how the sector could help achieve the Scottish government’s statutory climate change targets.

NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said: “It is an absolute pleasure to see one of the industry’s true stalwarts receive this award from SAOS and NFU Scotland given the huge shift that Andrew has put in on behalf of both organisations and the wider farming sector.

“At NFU Scotland, Andrew has, over more than 30 years, represented members locally, regionally, and nationally. He initially represented his region on the head office committee for milk before many years’ service representing the North East on combinable crops, a committee he went on to chair for three years. Andrew was also the NFU Scotland nominee to chair the Voluntary Initiative in Scotland from 2015 to 2020, driving forward the responsible use of plant protection products. 

“He had a fundamental role, under his chair, in developing AgriScot into the leading winter event in Scotland. More recently, Andrew’s knowledge and skills have proven invaluable as we seek to ensure post-Brexit agricultural policy in Scotland reflects the needs of the cropping sector while, under his chair, the nation’s quality assurance scheme for crops, SQC, places our growers at the premium end of UK and European markets.”