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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

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SGF Best Trade Association

In 2018 the Scottish Grocers’ Federation celebrated its centenary year and it proved to be an incredibly successful and productive 12 months and this has continued. - SGF was delighted to recently receive a Global Business Insight Award in the category of ‘Best Trade Association – 2018’.

The Global Business Insight Awards celebrate business leadership, innovation in finance and investment and sector success across all seven continents of the world.

Votes are gathered year-round via a number of digital channels and then evaluated employing a transparent and dynamic framework. The judges of the Global Business Insight Awards are highly experienced and diverse; the panel are made up of transnational and multi-lingual appointed individuals whose backgrounds span a host of different disciplines such as European languages, journalism, history, media and not least business.

Pete Cheema commented,

“I am delighted that the SGF has been recognised with this prestigious award and it is particularly pleasing that SGF won in the ‘Best Trade Association’ category. This is further acknowledgment that the SGF is the authoritative voice for the convenience store industry in Scotland and is a successful, influential and well-respected trade organisation among government, policy makers and of course the retail industry.

It is also further recognition of how much SGF has changed over the past 3 years and of course we could not have done this without the support of our retail, wholesale and suppliers members. In 2019, we look forward to continuing our important work of ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland.”

Scottish Government Wrong On Restricting Promotion

Scottish Grocers Federation has strongly criticised Scottish government proposals to restrict grocery promotions such as multibuys in stores as lacking in evidence, badly thought through and unenforceable. The Federation was responding to a major Scottish government consultation on reducing harm from foods deemed to be high in fat, salt and sugar. The consultation period ended today.

The SGF submission highlighted that the government has not yet defined which products would be included in the proposed restrictions and as such it was almost impossible to fully assess the impact on the convenience sector. The consultation document also stated that ‘upselling’ would no longer be permitted. In effect this means that staff asking customers if they would like a muffin with their coffee could be committing an offence. The Scottish government has indicated that any new regulations would be enforced by local authorities.

SGF head of public affairs Dr John Lee said,

“Retailers should be allowed to use a wide range of promotions to ensure they stay competitive and provide customers with the value for money they have come to expect. A the moment we simply don’t know the full range of products which would be caught up in new regulations – full technical specifications should have been published before this consultation was launched. It will be very difficult for retailers to accurately assess which products will be restricted. Additionally, we fail to see how any new regulations– which will undoubtedly be quite baffling for both retailers and customers - can be effectively enforced.”

The Scottish government has indicated that it will establish an ‘expert technical panel’ to develop new definitions of foods deemed to be high in fat salt and sugar.

SGF calls for investment fund towards Scottish Deposit Return System

Scottish Grocers Federation is calling for the Scottish government to set up a new £50 million investment fund to enable convenience retailers to meet the cost of a Scottish Deposit Return System. The proposal forms a key part of SGF’s submission to the Scottish government consultation on DRS, which will ultimately set the parameters for the system in Scotland. Based on the system in Norway, which provides a useful benchmark for Scotland in terms of population and geography, it is likely that Scotland will require 3,700 automated collection points. The new ‘Circular Economy Fund’ would enable retailers to meet the capital expenditure required to install a Reverse Vending Machine – the most efficient way of taking back containers.

SGF head of public affairs, Dr John Lee commented,

“The Sottish government has stated that DRS should be developed in a way that addresses the specific needs of small retailers – to deliver on this the government needs to establish this fund to guarantee that the system is established on a full cost recovery basis and that small retailers are not left at a competitive disadvantage with the big supermarkets. We need this policy to succeed and small retailers must be given the resources to participate in it.”

SGF has also strongly argued that body which runs the system must be controlled by industry, without interference by the Scottish government or its agencies and should be comprised of both manufacturers and retailers. SGF is also developing a series of in-store trails of Reverse Vending Machines with its retail members and the main RVM manufacturers; the first trials of their kind in convenience stores in Scotland.

The Scottish government will undertake an analysis of all submissions received and publish its final proposals towards the end of 2018.

Clampdown on Youth Drinking Widens its Impact

An award-winning campaign aimed at tackling underage drinking by raising awareness of the negative effects and offence of buying alcohol for under 18s, known as a proxy purchase, is now running in three new areas of Scotland, with more aiming to come on stream.

The ‘You’re Asking For It’ campaign was first trialled in Motherwell and Wishaw in 2015, followed by Leith in 2016 and was delivered North Lanarkshire wide in 2017. At an event in Motherwell earlier this year campaigners shared experience of delivering the campaign and its impact. The event with attendees from local authorities, Police Scotland, retail sector, alcohol producer’s health workers and more also saw the launch of the website www.youreaskingforit.com aimed at supporting those areas who wished to roll out the campaign. As a result the campaign is currently running across Glasgow; Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire and Burntisland, Fife with more areas looking to run the campaign, including Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverclyde.

John Lee, Chair of the SAIP Campaigns Group and Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Scottish Grocers’ Federation said:

Interest in the campaign has been high. It is great seeing other parts of Scotland picking it up and rolling it out.  We know from our evaluation this campaign has a positive impact in tackling underage drinking. We will be assessing the results from the new areas running the campaign to feed into our plans for 2019. Our aim is to see it rolled out nationally

Latest News

  • SGF Best Trade Association +

    In 2018 the Scottish Grocers’ Federation celebrated its centenary year and it proved to be an incredibly successful and productive Read More
  • Scottish Government Wrong On Restricting Promotion +

    Scottish Grocers Federation has strongly criticised Scottish government proposals to restrict grocery promotions such as multibuys in stores as lacking Read More
  • SGF calls for investment fund towards Scottish Deposit Return System +

    Scottish Grocers Federation is calling for the Scottish government to set up a new £50 million investment fund to enable Read More
  • Clampdown on Youth Drinking Widens its Impact +

    An award-winning campaign aimed at tackling underage drinking by raising awareness of the negative effects and offence of buying alcohol Read More
  • Personal Licence Renewals – SGF Says ‘No’ to Retailer Fees +

    The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has just submitted its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on introducing a fee for applying Read More
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