Sir, – I would like to address the anonymous letter which appeared in The Scottish Farmer, October 29, titled ‘Damage has been done’, which criticised NFU Scotland’s livestock chairman, Charlie Adam, and his role in the BBC Scotland documentary ‘Disclosure: Dark side of dairy’.

I, like most people in our industry, am extremely angry and disappointed in the representation of Scottish agriculture in the documentary. So much so that I sat down this week for a meeting with representatives of BBC Scotland to discuss our grievances with the programme, of which there are many. My annoyance is with the journalist who made the documentary and those in the BBC who allowed it to be aired.

Charlie Adam has successfully represented NFU Scotland and our members for the last five years as an officeholder and has always done so to the highest of standards. His appearance on the ‘Disclosure’ documentary is no exception.

The footage of Mr Adam shown on the documentary is only a small part of the conversation he had with the journalist which occurred both on and off the camera. Mr Adam gave a full rundown of the options for male dairy bull calves and made it clear that the majority of farmers prefer to either keep calves to fatten themselves or sell them on for finishing.

When doing interviews like this, you are essentially putting your faith in the journalist and trust that what you say will not be taken out of context and that you will be given a fair say in the final cut. When asked to do an interview with the BBC, with whom we have had a long standing good relationship, we expected the interview to be fair and for it to be an even-handed final cut.

It is extremely disappointing that someone who has earned so much respect in the union and the wider agricultural industry should have their reputation called into question by misrepresentation in a documentary which had a clear agenda. I believe it is fair to be upset by the documentary, but any annoyance or disappointment at Charlie Adam is completely misplaced.

Andrew McCornick

NFU Scotland President.