NFU Scotland believes they are entering 2024 on stable financial footing.

The financial accounts for the year ending October 32, 2023 reveal operating turnover has continued to increase to £3,245,883, of which administrative expenses were up by £282,892.

The Union’s board of directors had approved a structural deficit of £250,000 for the year in September 2022 and the accounts reveal an operational deficit of £214,645 coming in safely under that precautionary figure.

In a significant reverse to the previous year’s result, a very strong performance by the Union’s investment portfolio means a recorded deficit for the year of £148,291, a reduced figure from a posted deficit of £193,265 for 2022.

It has been a busy year for NFUS which welcomed John Davidson as its eleventh chief executive in its 110-year history at the end of June.

Reflecting on the Union’s accounts and activity, Mr. Davidson said, “It was an honour earlier this year to become only the eleventh Chief Executive in NFU Scotland’s long and distinguished history, following in the footsteps of many remarkable people.

“Since then, I’ve spent time travelling around the country getting to know members and understanding the issues they face day-in-day-out. Whilst there are many, I’ve been struck by our members’ optimism for the future and resilience in overcoming setbacks, such as the volatile weather and unprecedented rainfall that caused severe flooding and tragic circumstances this autumn.

“What gives me great hope for the future is the superb team we have across the Union. We have a staff team that is hugely talented, knowledgeable, and absolutely committed to making a positive difference for the industry. The same applies to the Presential team and wider Board of Directors, all of whom are working tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to represent our members’ interests.

“Our membership numbers are steady and loyal, and we continue to be one of the most respected membership organisations in Scotland.

“Like others, our costs continue to rise and after two consecutive years of a freeze on subscriptions, it is now necessary to have a modest increase to ensure the organisation is in the best possible shape to represent our members’ interests and give them exceptional support and reward as we move into a new year.

“It feels like a critical time for Scottish agriculture as we seek to negotiate and influence future policy and support. But I am confident the Union is well-placed to represent the industry and ensure we have a bright future.”