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John Davidson appointed Chief Executive at NFU Scotland

When he takes up office in late June, John Davidson will become the 11th Chief Executive at NFU Scotland in its 110-year history.

NFU Scotland has today (Tuesday 18 April) announced the appointment of John Davidson as its new Chief Executive.

Mr Davidson, who is currently the Deputy Chief Executive at the industry leadership body, Scotland Food & Drink, replaces Scott Walker who stepped down from his post last year. Mr Davidson joined Scotland Food & Drink in 2020 after a lengthy career in various senior roles across the Scottish Government, including Private Secretary to the former Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, and most recently as the head of food and drink at Scottish Government for five years.

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Mr Davidson, who is well known and respected across the farming and food industry, has been instrumental in supporting the sector’s recovery from Brexit and the Covid pandemic and has recently been leading the development of the new national food and drink strategy for Scotland, which aims to strengthen the resilience of the entire industry and grow its value and reputation domestically and internationally.  

He will start his new role at NFU Scotland in late June when he will become the 11thChief Executive since the Union’s formation in October 1913.

NFU Scotland President, Martin Kennedy said: “Following a rigorous recruitment process to find our next Chief Executive, John stood out as the ideal candidate to lead the organisation into our next chapter.

“His passion, energy, and vision for the organisation and for Scottish agriculture in general was inspiring and his grasp of the big challenges, and indeed opportunities, facing the industry was exceptional.

“John is extremely well connected across the industry and has a tremendous grasp and understanding of Government affairs. Above all, he has the personality and leadership skills we need to drive forward the business of NFU Scotland and lead our fantastic team in delivering the best possible outcome for our growing farming and crofting membership. 

John Davidson, the incoming Chief Executive at NFU Scotland, added: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining NFU Scotland and leading the organisation at such a critical time for the industry. 

“There are many challenges facing our farmers and crofters, but I genuinely believe the future for the industry is bright and I look forward to working with a very talented and passionate team at NFU Scotland to represent our members’ interests. 

“Agriculture is one of the world’s oldest and most important industries and is woven into the fabric of Scotland, making a substantial contribution to our economy, communities, and environment. It is absolutely vital that this is understood across all aspects of society, just as it is critical that the industry is given the support and conditions it needs to ensure a vibrant and profitable future with food production at its core. I look forward to working across the industry and beyond to achieve this.”

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