One of the key organisations operating in the rural economy are the Livestock Markets, not only as places to do business but importantly as places where farmers, crofters and their associated communities can socialise. With all the restrictions we have faced over the last eighteen months, perhaps one of the most difficult has been that lack of opportunity for social interaction at markets for farmers and crofters. That is so important in what has become an increasingly isolated occupation.
I was pleased, therefore, to catch up face to face earlier this month with Neil Wilson, Executive Director of The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS). Since taking on the role in January 2020, Neil has used his considerable experience to forge greater links with other stakeholders throughout the agricultural industry. Our catch up, therefore, was a great opportunity to discuss where we can collaborate to help identify opportunities and find solutions for those thinking about succession and the future. We know that these types of discussions are never easy to initiate as people are often nervous to talk about the future, but with the right support, they can be fruitful and positive for everyone.
Markets and their staff have a strong and trusted one to one relationship with their customers and, as such will be able to identify changes and trends at a very early stage. Neil and I agreed that where someone would like to have a confidential discussion about succession or the potential for joint ventures, then he would encourage his members to signpost the Land Matching Service as a free source of facilitation and advice.
I am delighted that IAAS will join the existing list of organisations supporting The Scottish Land Matching Service and look forward to working with them going forward.