Scotland has a very diverse agriculture. While large areas are devoted to beef and sheep, Scotland also has some of the UK’s most productive combineable cropping and dairy farms alongside specialist roots, vegetable and fruit farming and other enterprises from pigs to daffodils. Good quality malting barley has a ready market as an ingredient for Scottish whisky.
With four-fifths of Scotland in Less Favoured Areas, it includes some of the UK’s most remote and difficult farming ground, with agriculture also a feature of the islands.
Scotland has its own land law, legislation and institutions such as the Land Court. It has owner-occupied farms, estates, let farms and the distinctive feature of crofting in the north and west, but the tenanted farm sector has reduced markedly in recent years, with the new forms of tenancy from 2003 covering only 15 per cent of the let area.
The CAAV in Scotland
The Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association (SAAVA –www.saava.org.uk) affiliated to the CAAV in 2010. Both organisations have since grown in membership and activity in Scotland, engaging with the Scottish Government and other professional and farming bodies.
SAAVA’s Council forms the CAAV’s Scotland Committee considering responses to consultations from the Scottish Government and issues for members in Scotland. The Committee’s chairman is automatically a member of the CAAV’s Council, reporting to each meeting on Scottish matters.
The Chairman and Secretary of the CAAV Scotland Committee (SAAVA Council) are:
- Chairman: Jane Mitchell (SAAVA President)
- Secretary: Debbie Edmondson.
The CAAV’s work has included much attention to Scottish agricultural tenancy law and practice and agricultural policies as well as residential tenancy law, the Land and Buildings Transactions Tax and the energy efficiency of dwellings and other matters.
A CAAV/SAAVA working group published Contract Farming Agreements for Breeding Livestock in 2020 with template agreements. It is available to members in the Read Only Publications section of the website and non-members may purchase a copy through our online shop.
A briefing conference for CAAV and SAAVA members is held every March to cover topical and developing issues, with other conferences held as needed.
As the Scottish Government and Parliament make proposals for legislation on matters from agricultural tenancies to planning law, so the Scotland Committee considers them and the CAAV Secretariat briefs members on the website and through the Scottish sections of the News Letter and the Handbook.
SAAVA now also issues an annual handbook which, alongside general information for members, includes a Scottish Agricultural Costings schedule and topical templates such as those for the Tenant’s Amnesty.
As well as regular contacts with the Scottish Government and farming and professional bodies, a CAAV Presidential visit is made to:
- the Royal Highland Show every year to discuss issues with other bodies.
- SAAVA’s annual Field Day when members visit a farm or estate and review practical and professional problems from assessing soils to the valuation of telecoms masts.
James Dick of Aberdeen was the CAAV national President in 2017/18 with the CAAV’s national conference and AGM held outside Edinburgh in June 2018.
Each year since 2012, the CAAV surveys decisions about the occupation and letting of agricultural land in Scotland and issues the Scottish Agricultural Land Occupation Survey as a barometer of conditions for tenancies and other arrangements, alongside the equivalent Survey for England and Wales which has been running since 1977.
Prompted by the Scottish Government and the then work of the Agricultural Holdings Law Review Group, the CAAV published A Professionals Guide to Scottish Agricultural Rent Reviews with analysis and guidance to assist those members and others acting in rent reviews. This is summarised for a wider readership in The Summary Guide to Scottish Agricultural Rent Reviews.
With the Amnesty for Tenant’s Improvements under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, the CAAV published the Guide to the Amnesty for Tenant’s Improvements in Scotland to help members and others in this work, and prepared guidance and template forms on the CAAV and Scottish Land Commission websites; see our Free Publications.
The Scottish Land Commission has published this paper by the CAAV Secretary and Adviser, Encouraging Agricultural Land Lettings in Scotland for the 21st Century.
Development control for rural housing is covered in the CAAV publication, Rural Workers’ Dwellings – Planning Control in the United Kingdom
Good practice for compulsory purchase in Scotland is considered in the CAAV’s publication, Good Practice in Statutory Compensation Claims.
Scotland, with its different and longstanding property legislation and institutions as well as agricultural policies, is a separate centre for the CAAV’s examinations for Fellowship, enabling Scottish candidates to be tested within a UK-wide framework to ensure consistency.
SAAVA organises CAAV examination tutorials in Scotland.
The CAAV presents prizes for the best performance in valuation modules in the professional courses at the SRUC.