REPRESENTATIVES from across Scottish politics have called on NFU Scotland to be more productive in encouraging women to stand for positions on its board. This comes after it was revealed that the three candidates in the running for vice-presidency at this year’s agm are all male.

The SNP’s Gail Ross, who is deputy convener for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, was joined in support by cross party politicians including; Emma Harper MSP, Rhoda Grant MSP, Alison Johnstone MSP, Rachael Hamilton MSP and Christine Jardine MP.

In a joint letter to the president of NFUS, Andrew McCornick, they called for better gender balance and diversity representation on the board: “We write to you on a cross party basis to express our disappointment that no women are standing for the NFUS board. We therefore ask what mechanisms the NFUS has in place to encourage more diversity on its board. In Scotland we are making a concerted effort to attract people to sit on boards that perhaps would never have considered it and we know that companies perform better when their boards are more diverse in term of gender, disability, race etc.

“In particular, there are many pro-active women working in the agriculture sector today and many of them are involved with the NFUS at a local level. We ask that they are consulted with to find out what is needed to be put in place to ensure they are given support and encouragement to move to a higher level of directorship and then supported to do so.

“We were glad to see NFUS develop a family membership, acknowledging that families, especially women, are crucial to the farming enterprise which we hope will increase female membership. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter and are willing to help and assist with this where necessary. We are also aware of specific groups that can help,” they concluded.