Former head of industry development with Quality Meat Scotland, Andy McGowan, has been appointed chief executive of leading pig marketing co-op, Scottish Pig Producers Ltd (SPP) based at Huntly.
He succeeds Gordon McKen who is retiring early next year after 36 years with the co-op, having managed the business since its inception in 1979.
Mr McGowan has considerable experience in the pig industry, as well as the wider meat sector, and is delighted be joining such a progressive and innovative group of pig producers.
“It is the best job in the British pig industry and I see it as a fantastic opportunity to carry on the great work Gordon has done over the past 36 years,” said Mr McGowan.
“Scottish Pig Producers has always been an organisation which looks for solutions rather than problems and it is an approach which very much appeals to me.”
A graduate in agriculture from Aberdeen University, where he also gained a Masters in Pig Production under the late Prof Peter English, Mr McGowan worked for seven years in a technical sales role with the breeding company, PIC, in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Balkans until 2002 when he joined QMS
He is well known in the Scottish livestock and meat industry for his 11 years co-ordinating the activities of QMS in research, knowledge transfer and assurance schemes and worked closely with SPP in the development of the Specially Selected Pork branding scheme which was an industry first and secured endorsement from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA).
For the past year, Mr McGowan has worked with the Irish food genetics company, IdentiGEN, which uses DNA to enable retailers and processors identify and trace food products from farm to fork.
SPP chairman, Patrick Stephen, said the co-op was delighted to attract someone with the wealth of experience which Mr McGowan had in the pig industry.