A senior figure in the Valuation Office Agency has been invested as the new President of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) – the first public office holder to have ever held the position.
Shropshire-based Geoff Coster has been part of the VOA head office team for the past 12 years, having started his career there in 1983. Brought up on a poultry farm, he has a BSc in agriculture and passed stringent CAAV exams to become a Fellow in 1994.
“This truly is a great honour of which I am hugely proud,” he said at the AGM in Edinburgh last week. “The industry faces another challenging 12 months with the March 2019 deadline for leaving the EU. I want to make sure that we equip our members with the skills and knowledge to advise clients in the new changed world that is coming towards us.”
CAAV members’ valuations provide stability and confidence in the market, enabling lenders to lend and farmers to raise finance for investment, explained Mr Coster. “Livestock markets deliver price transparency and competition, and CAAV professionals provide essential guidance to the Government on a wide range of policy and fiscal matters. We can be proud of the value our work adds to the rural property market.”
Supporting Mr Coster is new Senior Vice President David Brooks, a land agent from Essex who joined forces with Chris Leney to launch Brooks Leney in 2017 after many years at Stanfords, Fenn Wright and Robinson & Hall.
“I’m very much looking forward to this year and will do my best to uphold the CAAV motto: Do what is right come what may,” he said. “I also want to ensure our clients take advantage of Brexit – there will be many opportunities. Our profession can offer so much advice covering such a broad range of areas, to bring the bigger picture together.”
Stepping up to the Junior Vice President’s role is Andrew Thomas, a third-generation chartered surveyor and auctioneer at HRT, Cowbridge, Wales. “I particularly want to support the livestock industry and foster good relations,” he explained. “The livestock industry faces many challenges and opportunities, and will need both a clear head and sound thinking to support them whatever the future holds.”