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Tributes paid to agri-business 'colossus' Brian Pack

Tributes have been paid to one of the most prominent figures in Scottish agriculture, Brian Pack, who has died at the age of 74.

Brian Pack
Brian Pack

Mr Pack added to the high profile he already had as chief executive of ANM Group by becoming an influential adviser to Scottish Government and author of two major reports.

 

The first, commissioned in 2009 looked at the future of farm support mechanisms.

 

The second report, the Doing Better Initiative of 2013, was aimed at reducing red tape and bureaucracy.

 

Richard Lochhead MSP said: "Brian was nothing short of a one-off colossus in the Scottish agri-business and rural sector with unrivalled insights into the meat industry and a sharp intelligence that led to him being an expert in farming policy and industry issues.

 

"That was why there was no more obvious choice to lead the inquiry I commissioned into the future of Scottish agricultural support that made the case for a distinctive policy for Scotland and that is an important part of Brian’s legacy."

 

Career

 

Mr Pack was born and brought up in West Dunbartonshire and although he spent most of his career in Aberdeenshire he never lost his distinctive west coast accent.

 

He worked for many years with Scottish Agricultural College as an economist and farm management lecturer.

 

He then joined Maitland Mackie at Westerton, Rothienorman at a time when the business was expanding quickly.

 

During his time there he started and became a partner in Farm Data, one of the first companies in the UK to offer a computerised farm accounting package.

His next move took him to the farmer owned ANM Group and one of the biggest jobs in Scottish agriculture.

In his early years there he oversaw the move of the Aberdeen markets to a newly built complex at Thainstone on the outskirts of Inverurie.

 

The market there was opened 30 years ago this week.

 

At the same time many of the smaller ANM markets around the north-east were closed in what proved to be a controversial rationalisation programme.

 

Mr Pack also supervised the expansion of the group’s meat processing businesses at Scotch Premier and Yorkshire Premier.

 

A former member of the University Court, in 2017 he was awarded at an Honorary Doctorate by Aberdeen University and was a former governor of the Rowett Institute.

 

He is survived by his wife Pam and their two sons.

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