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SGF condemns withdrawal of the sale of Premium Bonds.

 

SGF condemns withdrawal of the sale of Premium Bonds.

  The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has moved quickly to respond to the decision by the National Savings & Investments Agency for withdrawing Premium Bonds from sale in Post Offices after 31st July 2015.  They have issued a statement strongly condemning the decision.

 This comes at a crucial period for the Post Office as they are midway through their Network Transformation Programme. One would have thought that they would have been encouraging commission based schemes and not taking them away.

 ‘The move to withdraw the sale of Premium Bonds from 1st August 2015 is another nail in the coffin for Sub-Postmasters. One in five of the sales of Premium Bonds for last year came from over the counter. This is another huge setback for the Sub-Postmasters as another revenue stream is lost.’

Pete Cheema, SGF CEO.

 

 

 

SGF HELPS TO LAUNCH STOP PROXY PURCHASE CAMPAIGN

The Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership (SGAIP), the North Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership and Police Scotland, working closely with local retailers, have launched (29th June) a campaign in the area to raise awareness of the fact that buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £5,000 or up to three months in prison, or both.

 John Lee, Head of Public Affairs at SGF and Chair of the SGAIP Campaigns Group, said:

 “The success of initiatives such as Challenge 25 have helped reduce the number of direct sales of alcohol to under 18s, but young people are increasingly accessing alcohol by other means. Asking an adult to buy alcohol for them is one of the most common tactics used. This campaign will raise awareness of the serious consequences of buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18 to help reduce underage drinking in the local area.”

 The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 makes it an offence for a person to “act as an agent for a child in purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol

 Superintendent John McTear at Police Scotland said:

“Underage drinking contributes to antisocial behaviour, crime and violence in our local communities. During the lighter evenings and school holidays we expect to see more young people congregating. Most are perfectly well behaved, however some may consume alcohol after purchasing it themselves or arranging for someone else to do so and then engage in disorder. Local police will continue patrols and targeted operations where we know this to take place, to reduce attempted purchases of alcohol for under 18s.”

 The campaign is being launched in North Lanarkshire and will run until the end of summer. Learnings and successes from this trial will shape future campaigns across Scotland.

 

 

 

SGF Call For Simpler Licensing Law in Scotland

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation and the Association of Convenience have submitted a joint response to the Scottish Parliament Health Committee’s call for evidence on the new Alcohol and Public Health Bill.

 The response opposes the provisions contained in the Bill to impose further restrictions on the advertising and promotion of alcohol and to encourage Licensing Boards to make greater use of bottle marking schemes.

 If passed the Bill would become the 6th primary piece of alcohol legislation to have been enacted by the Scottish Parliament since 2009. Additionally there have been 35 secondary pieces of legislation put into effect – taken together this means it is now extremely difficult for retailers to fully understand and comply with licensing law in Scotland.

 SGF chief executive Pete Cheema said,

“We need licensing law to be simplified not made more complex. Initiatives such as bottle marking schemes provide no evidence of wrongdoing by retailers and are of no use in trying to deal with the problem of proxy purchase. It is not possible to manually and individually mark all alcohol products in store and make the marks distinctive from store to store The Scottish Parliament needs to get it right on licensing law – the burden of compliance always fall on retailers.”

Retailers Say No to Deposit Return Scheme

Scottish Grocers Federation and ACS join forces to oppose bottle return scheme

 The trade associations have just submitted a joint response to the call for evidence from Scottish environment agency Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) on the feasibility of implementing a Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) in Scotland. The deposit and return scheme is aimed at increasing recycling rates and reducing litter by encouraging consumers to return empty containers to retail outlets. DRS schemes focus primarily on beverage containers but the proposed Scottish scheme could be the most wide-ranging in Europe and include all types of aluminium cans, cartons, glass bottles, plastic bottles and containers.

The joint SGF-ACS response strongly argues that this is the wrong solution for Scotland and that convenience store retailers would be simply unable to store and process the anticipated high levels of returns envisaged by the feasibility study. Additionally DRS would increase cost for consumers and throw into reverse the considerable progress Scotland has made in implementing kerbside recycling services.

SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema said,

“We have serious concerns about this entire process - the ZWS feasibility study has not looked at the potential impact on convenience store. A typical convenience store will sell around 3,000 units a week of soft drinks alone. Space is always at a premium for convenience store retailers - how could a store be expected to cope with the anticipated high levels of return?”

ACS Chief Executive, James Lowman, said: "A deposit return scheme would bring massive new burdens on local shops, add cost to the supply chain, and lead to less recycling through local authority kerbside collections.  The Scottish Government should stop and think about the impact of such a scheme on businesses and on the environment."

 

 

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