AHDB has appointed its first director for Scotland, promoting Paul Flanagan – who joined the levy-funded body in January as its strategy director for dairy – to the role with immediate effect.

The ex-First Milk communications chief will have accountability for managing a cross-sector approach from the ten AHDB staff based in Scotland, and will be the key point of contact for the Scottish Government, and other key Scottish food and farming bodies. He will continue with his dairy responsibilities while taking up the new role.

The organisation said that it was 'readjusting internally' to ensure it is fit for the challenges and opportunities that are approaching with Brexit.

“This move recognises that the food and farming landscape in Scotland is unique, with a large proportion of mixed farms and a tight-knit group of influential stakeholders,” said Mr Flanagan. “Our Scottish levy payers are already well-served by a dedicated office in Edinburgh, with staff focused on Scotland’s farmers and growers, and a separate communications resource.

"This additional change will give greater transparency and clear lines of communication for levy payers, stakeholder and government officials. Our aim is to build a series of even stronger partnerships to make AHDB an essential part of the delivery landscape in Scotland.”

The role has been put in place for an initial 12 month period, after which AHDB will review Scotland's requirements.