A group of young auctioneers discussed issues facing livestock marts and the wider rural economy as they met MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
A collection of younger members of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) met for the first time to share their perspective on challenges – and opportunities – facing the country’s auction marts.
The event in Edinburgh was supported by auction mart companies from across the country and included a visit to Holyrood, where the auctioneers saw MSPs at work in the debating chamber, considering issues relating to wild animal legislation and hearing a statement from Cabinet Secretary for Health Jeane Freeman on the nation’s response to coronavirus.
Key to the day was a round-table session with Highlands and Islands MSPs Edward Mountain, Convener of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, and Rhoda Grant.
During this, they discussed the importance of auction marts for maintaining vibrant, fair and transparent trade for farmers, the critical role marts play in rural communities, the high quality of Scottish red meat, the positive part that agriculture plays towards tackling climate change and the need for a greater understanding of the entire livestock industry and where food comes from.
They also spoke with Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford during a tour of the Parliament building.
The day was part of the Institute’s commitment to encouraging the next generation of auctioneering leaders to make their voice heard and play an active part in shaping the industry’s future.
The young auctioneers were joined by IAAS President Scott Donaldson, Council Member Alan Hutcheon and Executive Director Neil Wilson, who each encouraged them to play an active role in the institute’s work.
Neil said: “It was great to get this group together and start some discussion on some of the major issues facing our auction marts and the wider livestock industry.
“These are people who will be leading our marts in the future. As an organisation, we want to ensure that their input shapes the work we do now to plan for the challenges we face and opportunities we can seize to ensure that our members continue and grow the impact of their work in the communities in which they are an integral part.
“We’re grateful to the MSPs for taking the time to meet with us and discuss the points raised. It was insightful and of real encouragement to our young auctioneers.”
IAAS will be building on this first meeting of the young auctioneers’ group with further events to grow their influence to be organised.