Well-known agricultural consultant Doug Bell has been appointed managing director at the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA).
Mr Bell, who has worked at SAC Consulting and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), will succeed Sutherland farmer Angus McCall, who will step down from the role later this year.
He said he was delighted to be taking up his new position at the STFA, which comes at a time when the industry is at a crossroads.
“As new agricultural policy is developed it is crucial that tenant farmers have a strong and influential voice to ensure their businesses are not impacted disproportionately,” said Mr Bell.
“As policy reforms are brought forward, STFA will have a key role to play representing the interests of its members and the tenanted sector in general.”
STFA chairman, Christopher Nicholson, said Mr Bell’s appointment at the organisation came at a critical time for Scottish farming.
He said: “Within the next few years we will see the development of new agricultural policy to replace the former Common Agricultural Policy (Cap) framework, and it is vital that measures introduced are feasible and fair for the tenanted sector to allow tenants to compete on a level playing field with owner occupiers.”
Mr Nicholson said the nature of farming was likely to change, with more focus on carbon, the environment and biodiversity, and these were big challenges for tenants operating under restrictive agricultural leases.
He added: “Doug brings with him decades of valuable experience working through previous Cap reforms with farmers, government and stakeholders and is ideally placed to steer us though the changes ahead.”
Outgoing managing director Angus McCall, who was the organisation’s first chairman and a founder in 2014, said: “I am delighted that Doug has taken up the role as managing director for STFA.
“With his background and experience, he is the ideal candidate to steer us through the challenges ahead facing tenant farmers. “