8th June 2018

Jim McLaren Presented with Outstanding Achievement Award

Quality Meat Scotland chairman Jim McLaren was presented with an outstanding achievement award at the annual Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards (Thursday June 7th 2018).

Mr McLaren (50) farms over 800 acres in Perthshire and has been chairman of QMS since 2011, after serving as president of NFU Scotland from 2007 to 2011.

He is a director of NFU Mutual, has also served on the board of SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and is a trustee of The Cameron Trust.

Mr McLaren, who is married to Shona and has two sons, two daughters and two step-daughters, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by SRUC in November 2015 for his “outstanding contributions to Scottish agriculture and the rural economy,” and in 2017, Mr McLaren was further recognised for his commitment to the industry when he was awarded an MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Along with working in his various industry roles and running his farming business, Mr McLaren also makes time to support the work of charities such as the Royal Highland Education Trust and regularly welcomes local school children to his farm, Dargill near Crieff, to gain a better understanding of where their food comes from.

The Scotland Food and Drink Excellence awards recognise businesses and individuals in Scotland who are leading the way with innovation, enterprise and quality. Over 800 industry professionals were in attendance to congratulate Jim on his award. 

James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink, Chief Executive, said: “I can think of few more deserving recipients of an outstanding achievement award than Jim. He is a force of nature who has a rare ability to strongly lead but bring people with him at the same time. Whether championing the whole farming community or our world class red meat industry, rural Scotland is in a better place because of his efforts.

 “Scotland Food & Drink has been a story of collaboration. The organisations Jim has led over the last decade have been central to this partnership way of working and it is making Scotland stand out on the global stage.” Alan Clarke, Chief Executive, Quality Meat Scotland, said: “Jim is a world-class ambassador for the Scottish farming, food and drink industries. His passion and enthusiasm is infectious, and his track record speaks for itself.

“Everyone at QMS is so proud of his achievement and delighted that he has been recognised for the outstanding contribution he has made to our industry.”

Mr McLaren, who steps down as Chairman of QMS in September following two terms in the post, said he was surprised and delighted to have received the award, sponsored by the Scottish Government.

“For me, working in the agricultural industry, in various roles, has been a huge privilege,” said Mr McLaren

 “I am enormously proud of our industry, but mainly the people all over Scotland who work day in, day out, dedicating their lives to producing brands such as Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork.

“It is the passion, dedication and innovation of those who work in our industry which has resulted in Scotland’s larder earning a global reputation for quality, sustainability and natural excellence.”

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