ANM Group announces board and management changes


The ANM Group, one of the largest and most progressive producer-owned farming, food and finance businesses in Scotland, today announces forthcoming significant board changes along with senior management appointments.
Pat Machray OBE will retire as chairman of the group next April; and retire fully as a board member in October 2017.
He said: “I am honoured to have served the group as a director, chief executive, and chairman. But the group has to move on, and this is part of our succession planning. It is right we tell our members about these changes at this time.”
Current vice chairman, Pete Watson, will step into the role of chairman in April, with Mike Macaulay becoming vice chairman.
In addition, at the Thainstone-based group’s board meeting on 4 October, two respected members of the Scottish farming community, Stuart Stephen and David Mackenzie, will be co-opted to the board.
Mr Stephen has been president of the Turriff Show, and is a director of the Royal Northern Agricultural Society. Together with his wife Catherine, he farms 700 acres at Netherthird, Rothienorman, comprising spring barley and grass. The couple buy store cattle and lambs for finishing, and have a breeding flock of cross sheep.
Mr Mackenzie is Harbro’s UK sales manager for beef and sheep, heading up a nationwide team of specialists. He runs a mixed livestock farm at South Mains of Tillymorgan, Culsalmond with his wife Sonia, comprising finishing cattle, breeding sheep and a small pedigree Charolais herd.
He also farms at Weydale Mains, Thurso in partnership with his father, Donald.
Mr Machray said: “Stuart and David both relish the opportunity to join the board, and I know each of them will make significant contribution to the group at this important juncture for our cooperative, and indeed our industry.”
Supporting the delivery of the group’s long-term business strategy, executive director Grant Rogerson will take up post as chief executive.
His remit focuses on identifying efficiencies and improvements; increasing member and customer numbers; extending the co-operative’s market share and trading area; and maximising value from the group’s property portfolio, including the Thainstone Business Park.
Executive director, livestock division and Thainstone Events, John Gregor, continues to have responsibility for the sustainable development of the core livestock marketing business.
Mr Machray said: “I am delighted with how well John and Grant have worked together over the last 18 months: we have now created a strong management team under their combined leadership.
“And with responsibility for delivering the group’s overall strategy, today’s announcement is a step forward in their development.
“Grant’s appointment as chief executive is a natural progression for him, as he continues to represent the group in all its diversity.”
Mr Gregor will oversee the implementation of key initiatives, including the ambitious Farm Profit Programme: Making Livestock Pay: designed to improve performance, efficiency and profit in the sector.
He will continue to represent members on livestock industry stakeholder groups, as well as at a local and national government level.
Mr Rogerson said: “ANM Group is one of a kind. Our strength in diversity means we can respond well to the challenging conditions experienced across the farming industry, as well as in the wider economy here in the North East.
“To that end, John Gregor’s considerable expertise will prove invaluable as we work closely together to develop ways to deliver best value and service for our 5,000 members and 20,000 customers.
“The new board appointments further strengthen our capability and underline our commitment to developing the co-operative, while continuing to make a significant contribution to the local economy. And of course, retaining Pat’s expertise in the short term as a board member will prove a distinct advantage.
“Immediate priorities include implementing the Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Aberdeen to improve efficiency and enhance the way we work; and progressing options for the £4million Thainstone Business Park extension, following rejection of our plans at the Garioch Area Committee in August.”
Mr Gregor said: “There are many factors working against the agricultural industry just now, and we know from a recent Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society survey that one of our members’ main concerns was profitability and low prices for farm produce.
“Going some way to address this, we launched our Farm Profit Programme, which ultimately will lead a livestock revival in the North East, and help producers grow and prosper: central to our commitment to ensure the industry is fit for the future.”