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Costs of a Tobacco Display Ban Remain Unanswered

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has criticised Scottish Government Ministers ahead of the Stage 3 debate on the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill (27th Jan 2009) for asking MSPs to support a tobacco display ban despite there still being no accurate estimate of the cost of compliance.

SGF Chief Executive John Drummond said: “A tobacco display ban would impose a substantial regulatory burden on retailers yet it is still unclear from both the Bill and the draft regulations how tobacco should be stored to comply with the display ban.

“The Minister has proposed regulations that are the most draconian of their type anywhere in the world, yet suggests to MSPs that a storage solution could cost as little as £20 for materials. SGF believe it is misleading for the Government to continue to refer to £20 when they accept that it referred only to the cost of materials per shelf and not per gantry.

“Once design, durable materials, professional fitting, store disruption, sustainable disposal methods and staffing costs are considered we fear the true cost of implementing a display ban will rise significantly, back in the direction of the Government’s official estimate.

“The tobacco display ban is a policy gimmick that will impose costs and disruption on retailers at the worst possible time. The evidence that this will actually stop young people smoking just isn’t there.”

Mr Drummond has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to amend the Bill to make it an offence both for a person under the age of 18 to attempt to purchase tobacco and for an adult to purchase tobacco on behalf of a child: “We remain convinced that proper deterrents to those that are complicit in giving tobacco to children together with effective measures to tackle the illicit trade and increased education would be more effective than a display ban.”

SGF Welcomes UK Government Announcement on Grocery Ombudsman

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that a Grocery Ombudsman will be established to enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

The establishment of an Ombudsman was one of the recommendations made by the Competition Commission following their Grocery Market Inquiry. Consultation on the shape and powers of the body will commence next month.

John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF, said,

“Without an independent Ombudsman, the new GSCOP, which comes into force in February, would have been ineffective.

“I hope this announcement will introduce a culture change within the major supermarkets and an acknowledgment that they must be open and transparent in their supplier dealings.

“This announcement will protect the interests of consumers, the food industry and suppliers.”

Conservatives Support Creation of Grocery Ombudsman

Commenting on the announcement by Nick Herbert MP, Conservative Shadow Environment Minister, confirming Conservative Party support for a Grocery Ombudsman, John Drummond, Chief Executive of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) said;

“The establishment of a Grocery Ombudsman was one of the recommendations announced by the Competition Commission following their inquiry into the grocery market. However, the Government’s delay over the recommendations has enabled the supermarkets to continue to use practices in their supplier dealings that were found to be to the detriment of consumers.

“I welcome this announcement. Without a Grocery Ombudsman the Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice is toothless.”

Top Class Speakers Lined Up for SGF Annual Conference

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has lined up an exciting programme of speakers for its annual conference, at the Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews, from the 26th to 28th February 2010

The theme for the conference is “A Winning Formula”, with business sessions planned to help retailers achieve a winning formula that can be translated into their business.

The Saturday Morning Business Session, chaired by Jamie Buchanan, Company Stores Director at C.J. Lang & Son Ltd has a line up of inspirational speakers including:

  • Neil Turton, Chief Executive of Nisa-Today’s. Relationships with retailers and suppliers are key to successful business development. Neil will show how these relationships are reflected in Nisa supplied stores across the country.
  • Ed Garner, TNS. Ed is one of the best in the business at presenting market information. His humorous style is second to none and converts the interesting into the exciting.
  • Andy Davis, BP. Andy is a leading expert in the convenience store sector especially on the requirements of fresh products and the take home sector. As Head of European Trading at BP, he is in a position to know what is successful and why, as he attempts to anticipate trends in this important and developing category.
  • Andrew Thornton, retailer. Andrew has a fascinating tale to tell of how he has managed to see off very close competition from a Tesco Express. Retailers will be inspired by Andrew’s story and will learn practical lessons which they can apply to their own business.

Completing the line up of speakers will be by Steve Fox. Director of Retail and Premier Development at Booker, who will outline opportunities for retailers in the market place and focus on the success of the Premier brand and Commercial Director at AG Barr, Jonathan Kemp, who will provide an interesting and humorous insight into his company’s activities.

The business element of the conference will close with a stimulating presentation from Watt Nicol. His energetic and entertaining style, which has been described as verbal fireworks, will leave everyone upbeat.

John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF said: “The impressive line up of speakers is one of the very best we have ever brought together for our conference. Bookings are going well and we anticipate record attendance.”

More information on the Conference is available on the SGF website www.scottishshop.org.uk or by contacting SGF 0131 343 3300.

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