David Barnes, who is currently the Scottish Government’s Deputy Director of Agriculture and Rural Development, will take up the role from January 19, 2015. It follows the decision by Drew Sloan to leave the Scottish Government for a post in the private sector.
Mr Barnes has worked for the Scottish Government since 2008, and was instrumental in negotiating and developing the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for Scotland. Prior to that he worked for the UK Government's agriculture department for over 20 years, both as an agriculture officer based in regional offices, and as a policy official in London and overseas - including at their EU office in Brussels.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead commented: “I am delighted to confirm that David Barnes will be Scotland’s new Chief Agricultural Officer. I have worked with David for many years and am continually impressed by the depth and breadth of his agricultural knowledge and expertise. I am confident his considerable experience and professionalism will stand us in good stead for the complexities ahead as we implement the new CAP in Scotland. I would like to thank Drew for all of his hard work and the contribution he has made to Scottish agriculture, and I wish him all the best for the future.”
David Barnes said: “It is a great privilege to be appointed to the post of Scotland’s Chief Agricultural Officer. I am hugely passionate about farming in Scotland and look forward to continuing to work with the sector as we move into the next phase of the CAP. Having been so closely involved in the CAP negotiations I am fully aware of the scale of the implementation challenge facing Scottish agriculture. My top priority is to continue the good progress we are making and ensure as smooth a transition as possible.”