James Graham receives prestigious Ambassador Award

PWP_3039SAOS Chief Executive, James Graham, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Scottish agriculture and food industry collaboration when he received the NFUS/NFU Mutual Ambassador trophy at last night’s annual NFU Scotland dinner in Glasgow.

Established in 2009, the award was set up to recognise those individuals who, through their own efforts, have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and the value of Scottish food and farming to a wider audience.

James began his career with SAOS in 1986, becoming Chief Executive in 1998 and, after spending almost 21 years in the post, announced last year his intention to step down in March 2019.

On top of his extensive work as SAOS Chief Executive, James is a founder member of Scotland Food & Drink’s Partnership Board, and Co-Chair of Scotland Food & Drink’s Supply Chain Board.

There are very few people who have done as much for the Scottish supply chain; James has had a lead role in some of the most important developments in the last 20 years. These include the development of ScotEID and Scotland’s livestock traceability system.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker, who has worked closely with James throughout his career, said: “James is a person who many people in the farming and food industry will have turned to at some point in time. Always willing to give time to provide well considered advice and support, he has helped many people and businesses over the years.

“James can rightly claim to have played a part in the growth and success of many co-operative businesses as well as supporting the development of many people who work in the industry.

“A strong advocate for the co-operative sector and its benefits, he has championed collaborative working. Working through Scotland Food and Drink, he has helped drive an ambition to grow the food and drink industry in Scotland while ensuring that farmers and crofters’ benefit. Willing to challenge the status, quo James has supported and driven innovative ways to solve problems and issues.

“He leaves behind a very strong organisation in SAOS very much shaped by him. There are lots of people across the industry who will have benefited from his advice and will count him as a friend.”