ADAS celebrates 75 years

August 02, 2021

ADAS, an RSK group company, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Founded in 1946 as the National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAAS), the business has grown from its post-war roots into one of the UK’s largest independent providers of agricultural and environmental consultancy services.

The founding of NAAS in 1946 represented a turning point in UK agriculture. Before this, the country struggled to produce its own food and relied heavily on imports. Farmers received only limited advice and support from county councils. It wasn’t until the founding of the advisory service that farmers were able to access a unified countrywide specialist service to support their businesses, a service that combined the county-level advice previously available with the latest innovative research from universities and colleges. The principle of NAAS: a desire to offer independent, bespoke solutions, remains at the heart of ADAS’s work today.

As part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the advisory service was at the forefront of agricultural innovation in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. Research and innovation led to improvements in agricultural machinery, animal welfare, cereal and grain yields and dairy production. A reorganisation of the ministry in 1971 resulted in the establishment of NAAS under a new name, ADAS.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, ADAS commercialised, offering its services to farmers at a reduced cost to the taxpayer. In 1997, 51 years after its founding, ADAS was privatised, forming the business it is today. At its core, ADAS remains committed to providing tailored solutions to clients based on its leading research and innovative work in agriculture, the environment, rural development and policy services.

To mark the anniversary, ADAS Managing Director Andrew Walker has recorded a message marking the progress and strengths of the business up to 2021 and sharing what the next 75 years of ADAS will hold. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, ADAS will be celebrating its people and clients by sharing their stories with the public. As Andrew explains, it is people who are at the heart of ADAS, as they are what makes the business proud of its history and heritage.