Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

70 Million Royal Highland Show – New Business Centre Established For Trade Exhibitors

The serious business of farming and food production will be high on the agenda at next month’s Royal Highland Show when it is estimated around 70 million will be generated for the Scottish economy.

For many, the show is an annual social occasion but that masks its true purpose of presenting a platform and a business opportunity for the farm, rural, food, drink and allied sectors.

Show Manager David Dunsmuir: “We are regarded as the UK’s main event for agri-business right through the chain of production. All of the leading manufacturers, distributors, food multiples and trade organisations are present and we can anticipate firm sales of machinery, product launches, agreement on supply contracts, deals for technology and genetics.

“The key players in an industry worth billions make a point of being at an event which for four days is the focus for the sector.”

This year in a bid to increase the business profile, the show has established a Business Centre within the International Visitors Pavilion. With reception facilities, internet access and private meeting rooms available, the aim is to make it easier for companies to discuss prospects, agree deals and make sales.

With the show’s world-wide reputation, it is hoped that exhibitors can capitalise on the international attendance. Examples include delegates from the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth which represents 21 countries, the World Shorthorn Conference, a large contingent of farmers from Norway and representatives from the USA’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

David Dunsmuir: “We normally have around 2000 visitors from 30 or so countries so the international prospects for trade are there. There are also huge opportunities to do business on the home front and we trust the new centre will play a facilitating role.”

Certainly, the statistics back up the potential. Scotland’s farmers, crofters and growers produce output worth around 2.5 billion. Downstream the food industry has a target of 10 billion annually and in total the sector, from farm to end processing and retailing, employs over 300,000 people. It’s reckoned that 1 in 10 Scottish jobs are dependent on agriculture.

The nature of farming is such that the fortunes of individual commodities can be cyclical, but the point remains – to produce crops and livestock from the 75% of Scotland’s land mass which is dedicated to agriculture requires investment in machinery, equipment and technology.

Farm equipment alone is big business. Trade body the Agricultural Engineers Association estimates the value of sales of agricultural equipment in the UK at 1.7 billion.

Although tractor sales – seen as a barometer – were down last year by 12% to 15,000 units, the trade remains optimistic about prospects for business at the show.

“However, there has to be a sense of realism,” said AEA Economist Chris Evans. “There are reduced amounts of money available in agriculture, particularly in the arable sector. In 2010, it is likely that levels of business may revert to more normal patterns, rather than the buoyant trading conditions experienced in 2008 and early 2009.

“Having said that, we are very much aware of the prominent position of the Royal Highland Show and our members regard it as a valued shop window.”

Keith Christian, Director of the British Agricultural & Garden Machinery Association, which represents 850 dealers and distributors throughout the UK, said: “We consider the show to be one of the most prestigious events in the UK and a true showcase for the market. It is widely supported by all sides of the industry, including ourselves and many BAGMA members.

“There is no doubt that 2008 was a record year for machinery sales and the expectation now is that business will begin to find its own level. Scottish dealers are well aware that these are competitive times but are looking forward to discussing at the show investment in new equipment by farmers and other rural businesses.”

David Dunsmuir: “With more than 160,000 visitors expected, all trade stands, including food, shopping, lifestyle, equestrian and so on, have a marvellous opportunity to do business. We regard ourselves, however, very much as an agri-business event and we are focussing on assisting our agricultural trade area to make the most of the show.”

Independent studies have concluded that the economic impact of the show locally, regionally and nationally is around 70 million.

* Media enquiries  on the Royal Highland Show to Ross Muir or Judith OLeary at OLeary RM Public Relations, The Coach House, Comely Park House, New Row, Dunfermline KY12 7EF

* Email: or Tel: 07971 041853 or 01383 432608

* Media intending to cover the show should download a media accreditation application from the Media Centre on the show website. Please note passes are only issued to media working at the show.

*Press releases and photographs are available for download from the Media Centre on the website.

* Show website:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.