SAAVA President Ian Austin welcomed over 80 attendees to this years AGM & CAAV Spring Briefing held again this year at the Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort, Cumbernauld. During the AGM Mr Austin launched the new SAAVA Handbook and announced that a working group had been setup to create a template Livestock Contract Farming Agreement for members
SAAVA were delighted to welcome Lord Gill author of the seminal text ‘The Law of Agricultural Holdings in Scotland’, now in its fourth edition. Speaking on the way forward for Land Reform in Scotland, Lord Gill did not hold back in his opinion that the current Act would do little to create new tenancies, help new entrants or give landowners the confidence to offer tenancies. Lord Gill felt the act had only made existing tenancies more secure rather than bringing about change that would bring more land into the tenanted sector.
The current CAAV president Geoff Coaster attended the event and provide an update on his time in office so far. Mr Coaster along with Mr Austin also presented this year’s 7 new Scottish CAAV members with their certificates and Martin Hall Presidents Cup for the highest mark in the Scottish CAAV examinations to this year’s winner, Jennifer Jeffrey of Galbraith Rural.
The event also hosted the CAAV Scottish Spring Briefing with various topical presentations from Jeremy Moody and Kate Russell from CAAV including an “up to the minute” BREXIT update from Mr Moody and a CPO best practices guide from Mrs Russell. Lyndsey McGregor, acting Legal Secretary for SAAVA, also briefed members on the Tenant Farming Commissioners most recent guidance and Codes of Practice along with providing a summary of the implementation of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016.
The day was rounded off with a message from Mr Austin urging members continue to dialogue with SAAVA Council to ensure the Association delivers the support and serves required by the membership.