News Release

Scottish Tenant Farmers Association

4th June 2015


 STFA has welcomed today’s announcement of the appointment of Andrew Thin to the newly created post of Independent Adviser on Tenant Farming.  This appointment will be a short-term interim measure to bridge the gap before a permanent Tenant Farming Commissioner with statutory powers can be appointed.

 Commenting on the appointment STFA chairman Christopher Nicholson said: “We are pleased that Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead has listened to industry concerns and started to implement recommendations of the AGLRG.  The industry has acknowledged the need for an independent ombudsmen or commissioner to see fair play in the sector and act as an interface between landlords and their tenants and we welcome this as a first step towards the establishment of a permanent commissioner with statutory powers.

“Andrew Thin is already well-known to the tenanted sector and as a member of the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group is well equipped to fulfil the role of independent adviser to the Cabinet Secretary whilst liaising with stakeholders in guiding the sector, creating codes of practice and helping resolve disputes as they arise.

“There is bound to be uncertainty over the next couple of years until the new reforms become law and it is important that interim measures are put in place to advise and guide the industry as well as keeping a watchful eye on what is going on. Relationships between landlords and tenants may well become fraught as the bill makes its way through parliament and this appointment help will help create confidence and revive some of the industry initiatives which were in danger of floundering.

“It is also important that Andrew is able to intervene in disputes and provide strong leadership when engaging with stakeholders.  Ten years of the TFF and the difficulty in making any headway in rectifying the defaults of the legislation and resolving disputes has been a salutary experience.  Therefore news that the interim Adviser on Tenant Farming is an independent appointment responsible directly to the Cabinet Secretary is most welcome.  We look forward to working with Andrew Thin in his new role and have already identified a number of issues for his immediate attention.”