NFU SCOTLAND is entering 2019 on a healthy financial footing and basking in two years of membership growth – but it is not letting up in its recruitment efforts, with a fresh video-based recruitment campaign launched at its AGM in Glasgow today (February 8).

Publication of its annual accounts for 2018, approved at the AGM, showed income up by £132,000 on last year, with subscriptions accounting for £82,000 and returns from affinity deals generating a further £49,000 of the uplift. The union ended with a net surplus of £44,000 compared to £111,000 in 2017.

As a result, the balance sheet remains strong with net assets increasing by £58,424 to £2,968,225. Membership at financial year end was 8315, up from 8258 at the same time last year, an increase of 57. This is the second consecutive year of membership growth.

Chief Executive Scott Walker said: “Two years of growing membership is down to a lot of hard work by many people, but I know that we still have the potential to grow more.

“This year we are doing something new on the recruitment front. We have made a number of videos where existing members talk about why the union is so important to them. The fact that these are unscripted, filmed round kitchen tables on farms and crofts means they deliver a powerful personal message about why it is important to be a member.

“These videos will be used to promote the union during 2019 with the aim that we can grow our membership for a third year in a row. In addition, we launched a new family membership in November with hundreds already signed up.

“As a union, we recognise that farming and crofting is very much a family affair with many businesses handed down through generations. It feels right that all with an interest in the business from the wife, husband, children and business partners can enjoy the benefits of NFU Scotland as much as the named subscription payer.

“This new family membership will see us use email and text to make sure information on meetings, events and news reaches all.”