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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

Supporting Scotland’s Food Industry

Some of Scotland’s leading convenience stores have signed up to the Retailers’ Charter in which they pledge to drive forward support for Scottish food and drink.

It was confirmed at today’s Convenience Store Summit in Edinburgh that sales of Scottish branded produce in convenience stores across Scotland have already increased by six per cent since 2007. Total retail sales of Scottish food and drink brands have gone up by one fifth across Scotland, England and Wales since 2007.

The Retailers’ Charter sets an agenda for collaborative work around the national food and drink policy.

Today’s boost to the industry coincides with the publication of a new report outlining how Scotland’s reputation as a land of food and drink can be enhanced.

Opportunities highlighted in the Food and Drink Key Sector Report include:

  • Scotland’s expertise in food science and life science research can be harnessed to increase consumer awareness of healthy produce
  • Carbon labels would help consumers identify Scottish produce and cut food miles
  • Reducing waste and packaging should play a part in consumer buying behaviour
  • Greater focus on food and drink provenance – as highlighted in ‘Recipe for Success’

Speaking after chairing today’s summit, Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Lochhead said:

“Scotland’s convenience stores generate annual sales of £3.2 billion. Although sales of Scottish produce at these stores have increased in recent years there is real potential to achieve even more. The number of shoppers buying locally produced food has almost doubled in the last three years to 27%, compared to 15% in 2006.

“I want to see our retailers making the most of the wonderful fresh seasonal ingredients and food suppliers that we have on our doorstep.

“On average convenience stores devote 20 per cent of floor space to fresh produce and the amount of shelf space for locally sourced food is up 10 per cent in the last year. Our new National Food and Drink Policy can help these figures soar even higher.

“Today’s summit was a fantastic opportunity to share best practice, concerns and future prospects for what is clearly a thriving sector. Through our national food and drink policy we have the tools to create a food and drink revolution. If everyone growing, making, buying or selling food and drink in Scotland can pull in the same direction we will achieve a healthier, wealthier, more environmentally sustainable Scotland.”

John Drummond, Chief Executive of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition of the role of the convenience store sector within the grocery sector and their willingness to engage with the most senior figures in the Scottish convenience store sector.

“It is important that small shops, which provide a vital service within communities across the length and breadth of Scotland, have the right conditions for sustained growth. Today’s summit is an opportunity to explore how we can work in partnership with the Scottish Government to continue to deliver the best for Scottish customers.”

Additional Companies signing up to the Retailers’ Charter following today’s Summit:

C.J. Lang and Son Ltd
Drummore Stores
Khalsa Retail Ltd (T/A SPAR)
Scotmid Co-operative
David Sands Ltd
Landsburgh Bros Ltd (T/A SPAR)
Clydebank Co-operative Society Ltd
G & G Knowles (T/A NISA Local)
Broadway Convenience Store (T/A Premier)
Botterills Convenience Stores Ltd (T/A SPAR)
The Co-operative Group, Scotland
Abdul Majid & Son Ltd (T/A SPAR)