North-east farmers’ co-operative ANM Group has urged members to increase livestock production rather than reduce numbers in response to the new Common Agricultural Policy (Cap) package.
In a letter to members, chief executive Pat Machray said: “Our aim is simple – to encourage members to increase livestock production. Our vision is to support and encourage livestock in the north of Scotland.”
He admitted the goal would be seen by some as “bold and ambitious”, but said as a livestock co-operative, the group could not “sit back and let the industry falter”.
Mr Machray urged members to get in touch and explain why they planned to reduce livestock numbers or cease production.
“Everyone has their view but we want to hear from you – what are the challenges of keeping livestock, what is preventing you from growing and what can ANM do to help you?,” he added.
ANM has enlisted SAOS to conduct a series of focus groups with members from across the country to gather information, which will be used to shape future group plans to help members increase production.
Providing a trading update, Mr Machray said the last six months had been difficult, but the group had managed to maintain reasonable profitability by curtailing and controlling costs.
“The next six months will prove to be more interesting as many of you start to make decisions as to your future and that will also impact on our business,” Mr Machray told members in his letter.
“We will keep a watching brief in the coming months and take action as appropriate.”
Mr Machray added that the group had moved to a new management regime; Grant Rogerson and John Gregor carry out the day-to-day management of the group, and Mr Machray now attends Thainstone for one and a half days a week as well as one off meetings where required.