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Food to Go is Here to Stay

The growing importance of food to go in convenience stores has been highlighted again with the success of the Scottish government-SGF food to go grant programme. 73 convenience stores from across Scotland – including stores from island and rural communities – have benefited from awards as part of the 2019 grant programme.  An additional £50,000 was made available this year by the Scottish government, bringing the total funding available to £300,000.  The 2019 programme featured additional criteria on food waste and packaging reduction.

Commenting on the success of the programme, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing MSP said,

The Food to Go fund has made a real difference to small retailers across Scotland, helping independent grocers to provide quality, locally-sourced and healthy food, as well as promoting the importance of reducing food waste. I am pleased that in the coming year, we will extend the fund to more independent retailers to support them to invest in equipment and activity, that will help them deliver more locally produced, healthy food and contribute to our climate change ambitions as well as widen their appeal to customers.”

SGF chief executive Dr Pete Cheema OBE said,

This is a tremendous example of the effectiveness of working in partnership with the Scottish government. This funding has gone directly to retailers and enabled them to stay competitive, respond to changing customer demand and connect more effectively with local suppliersBy working with the government SGF has leveraged in over half a million pounds of investment in our sector.”

The 2018 programme was also extremely successful, with 69 stores benefitting from awards. The food to go market in the UK is now estimated to be worth more than £21 billion.

DRS – Exemptions Yes, Glass No

SGF has welcomed the news that the Scottish government draft Deposit Return Regulations allow for exemptions for smaller retailers. The Federation had been lobbying strongly for exemptions directly with the Scottish government. The exemptions will be based on an agreed set of criteria including proximity to other return points. However, SGF remains strongly and consistently opposed to the inclusion of glass within the scheme.

SGF head of public affairs John Lee said,

The small store exemptions are very welcome – they will provide welcome flexibility for smaller stores and our efforts on this have paid off. The inclusion of glass will be bad for the scheme overall and for convenience stores in particular. Glass is heavy, liable to break and takes up considerable space. It will also drastically reduce the number of stores which can use automated take back. The convenience sector needs a united front on saying no to glass.

The Scottish government is consulting on the draft regulations and a parliamentary scrutiny process will also get underway. The legislative process is intended to be complete by February 2020 with the scheme going live in April 2021. The regulations state that retailers in Scotland will not be permitted to sell products which are not registered as part of the scheme.


Tributes for Former SGF CEO

Tributes have been paid to former Scottish Grocers’ Federation chief executive John Drummond, who has passed away suddenly at his home in Dundee at the age of 72. The highly respected Drummond served as chief executive between 2005 and 2015 and established SGF as an influential and very well-regarded lobbying organisation.  He also oversaw the development of the highly successful SGF-Scottish Government Healthy Living Programme. Upon retiring from the role of chief executive in 2015, Drummond continued to have strong links with the industry in his role as National Account Manager with the Healthy Living Programme.

Kathryn Neil, Programme Director of SGF Healthy Living said:

”Myself and the SGF Healthy Living team were deeply saddened with the news of John Drummond’s passing. John worked with the programme for the past 4 years and was an inspirational driver of the Healthcare Retail Standards work carried out in all NHS hospitals in Scotland.  John was a true gentleman and was highly thought of by everyone who met and worked with him, it was an honour to have worked so closely with him over the last few years.  John will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts go out to his daughter and the rest of his family at such a sad time.”

SGF chief executive Pete Cheema OBE said

"I am shocked and stunned by this tragic event. Everyone at the Federation deeply sympathises with the family and friends of John and hope that they will get the privacy and peace they most likely need in their situation. For many of us, too, he was a friend whose loss we do not really understand. John was the Chief Executive when I was President of SGF between 2006 and 2008. He will be truly missed."

SGF Delighted to Announce New Partnership with Anderson Veitch

Scottish Grocer’s Federation is delighted to announce a new partnership with Anderson Veitch, a Scottish based wholesale distributor of stationery, toys, confectionery and greetings cards.

Anderson Veitch is a family run business which is celebrating 100 year’s experience of wholesale distribution in the UK and which holds a comprehensive selection of products and brands at competitive prices. The company serves the retail trade of both independents and larger national accounts, covering the UK, Scottish Islands, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. As a founding member of the STAGG stationery and toy buying group, Anderson Veitch can offer customers the benefits of their group buying strength.

The Scottish Convenience sector continues to grow through diversifying the products and services offered to customers. This has made the sector more relevant than ever to every type of customer.

SGF chief executive Pete Cheema OBE said, “We are delighted to welcome Anderson Veitch into the Federation, a company with long established and highly respected reputation for serving the wholesale needs of the retail trade. Convenience store customers want choice, quality and value for money. We see the product offering from Anderson Veitch as complimenting the needs of both convenience stores and their customers. We look forward to working with Anderson Veitch and to exploring the many opportunities which the Scottish convenience sector has to offer them and our members.”

Anderson Veitch Director of Operations Paul Anderson said: “We are very proud in what is our 100th year of trading to be aligning with such an historic establishment as the Scottish Grocer’s Federation. We look forward to meeting the members and developing long term relationships to meet their retail requirements. We are proud of our continuously developing ranges and feel we offer the right mixture of product, service and price to meet the varying demands of each individual customer.”

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