NFUS chief executive to leave

James Withers, the boss of NFU Scotland, is to leave the organisation to take on a new role as chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink.

After 12 years with NFUS, three as chief executive, Withers will leave the organisation in September. A process to appoint his successor at NFUS will begin shortly.

NFUS president Nigel Miller said: “While losing someone of James’ calibre is a blow to the organisation, the good news for members of NFU Scotland is that he will remain a hugely influential figure within our industry. Scotland Food & Drink has a target of growing the value of our food and drink sector to £12.5bn by 2017. Scottish farmers and crofters, as food producers, will be at the core of that vision and will share in the benefits of value being added to our produce.

“Based on our experience, James will undoubtedly bring great vision and tremendous commitment to developing and growing Scotland Food & Drink. Since he started as a graduate trainee at NFUS in 1999, he has gone on to generate a substantial legacy from each of the positions he has held at head office.

Chairman of Scotland Food & Drink Ray Jones added: “James is one of the most highly regarded and knowledgeable individuals in the Scottish food and drink industry and I am delighted to be welcoming him to the team. His experience at NFU Scotland will stand him in excellent stead to lead the team at Scotland Food & Drink and guide the industry to reach our ambitious growth targets.”