The People at Caledonia Potatoes


Robert Doig

RJS Doig Ltd // Director

Alongside his role as Director of Caledonia Potatoes, Robert farms 200 hectares of seed potatoes for supply to Caledonia Potatoes under the banner of his family farming Business, Robert JS Doig Ltd. This operation is based at the family farm of Old Fargie near Glenfarg on the border of Fife, Perth and Kinross. The potatoes are all stored and graded at Old Fargie in a purpose built storage unit of 10,000 tonnes of modern, positively ventilated, refrigerated box stores. His career includes a long spell as Director of Caithness Potatoes Ltd where he was Chairman latterly. He has served on the Board of Potato Council, AHDB Potatoes and SPTA and continues as an industry arbitrator for BPTA. As our team leader, Robert takes particular pride in our breeding programme where he works closely alongside Finlay to bring forward our ever sustainable new varieties.

Alistair Melrose & Fiona Smillie

J & E Smillie (Montrose) Ltd // Director

J & E Smillie currently grow 280 hectares of seed potatoes on annually rented land in Kincardineshire and Perthshire. Over and above the seed J & E Smillie supply to Caledonia, they act as marketing agents for a group of 7 growers, A & F Growers, who grow a further 220 hectares of seed potatoes, both for export markets and English retail customers. Alongside Fiona Smillie, Alistair Melrose has managed the J & E Smillie business since 2018. A former AHDB Potatoes board member, Alistair is currently a BPTA council member and both him and Fiona are directors of Caledonia Potatoes.


Michael McDiarmid

FIMM Potatoes Ltd // Director

Fimm Potatoes is a family based firm growing 200 hectares of seed potatoes in Perthshire for Caledonia Potatoes.
Set up originally in 2011 by Mike and Kate McDiarmid. The main storage and grading facilities are near Crieff whilst the home farm is in Aberfeldy where potatoes have been grown as a main enterprise for many years.
In 2018 their son James joined from an Engineering back ground, with this we have installed and developed a new Optical Grader for dirty potatoes (the first and at present the only one of its kind in the UK.)
Jamie Motherwell and his team assist James in all areas. The team enjoy taking part in all our R & D, from the growing and rogueing of new varieties from Caledonia to technical training for Optical grading.

Andrew Lamont

Sales & Logistics Manager

Starting in the industry in 1978 with the then Potato Marketing Board, Andrew was based in Glasgow, then Inverness. In 1987 as MBM was being formed, he took on the role of Scottish Procurement / Sales Manager, firstly in Dunbar then latterly Forfar. Steadily increasing the supplies to their own packhouses while developing new business relationships, including crisping, chipping and imports, over a period of 20 years.

After a spell with both Albert Bartlett and Greenvale, Andrew and his wife moved to Australia in 2014 to enjoy life with their family down under. During this time he represented the Restrain company in Australia and New Zealand, with their machines being used in the onion, potato and tomato industries but his full time role was as a Retail Account Manager, dealing with all the major supermarkets and processors in Australia, living and working in Sydney, then latterly Adelaide.

Returning to Scotland at the end of 2019 with dual citizenship, he started immediately with the now named Caledonia Potatoes Ltd, as Sales and Logistics manager, based in Perth. With the development of the Caledonia business, he takes care of seed sales and the ware export function of the company.
Andrew has served on the board of SPTA and is an arbitrator for BPTA.

Andrew Lamont Pic

Sian Mochan, BA (Hons), CIMA Dip MA

Finance & Administration Manager

Sian started with us at the now named Caledonia Potatoes in 2017, coming from a background in the motor industry. After finishing school she completed an Honours degree in Management at the University of Abertay, Dundee and originally started her career in a Marketing position at D.C. Thomsons in Dundee.

Upon joining the motor trade and gaining experience in various operational roles, Sian decided to pursue a career in Accounting. At present Sian is qualified to CIMA Dip MA level and continues to work towards further qualifications as a management accountant. Sians main roles with Caledonia Potatoes are managing the accounts function, office management and export logistics and documentation control.

Finlay Dale, BSc, Phd

Breeding Co-ordinator

Finlay Dale is involved in both the UK and overseas potato markets as well as in the areas of breeding, trialling, and selection of new varieties for Caledonia Potatoes. He is also involved with the export logistics as well as liaising with many customers in the UK and overseas.

Finlay’s background began as a research scientist working on potatoes first at the Scottish Plant Breeding Station (Pentlandfield), and since 1992 based at the Scottish Crop Research Institute, now James Hutton Institute in Dundee. He conducted research on potato breeding efficiency, tobacco rattle virus resistance, quality traits and also resistance to potato cyst nematodes. As the senior potato breeder at Mylnefield Research Services with more than 35 years experience, he managed a number of successful potato breeding programmes. Varieties developed by the breeding team during his time at James Hutton Institute include Mayan Gold, Stirling, Lady Balfour, Vales Sovereign, and Gemson, in collaboration with different companies.

Over a number of years he has been involved in extensive trialling and selection of new material and varieties not only in the United Kingdom but also in a number of Mediterranean countries including Egypt, Israel, Greece, Spain, and also further afield such as Malawi, Ethiopia and China.

Finlay Dale 2