Promotions ban plan is pulled

The Scottish Government has planned to curb promotions in a bid to tackle childhood obesity.

THE Scottish Government has put controversial plans to restrict in-store promotions on ice.

Foods deemed high in fat, salt and sugar were in line for new restrictions that could have limited how retailers could promote these products, and where they could be positioned in store.

The proposals had been met with fierce criticism from across Scotland’s retail sector, with industry leaders raising concerns around the practicalities of the restrictions and the economic impact on independent stores.

At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, SGF chief executive Pete Cheema wrote directly to the First Minister and cabinet secretaries urging them not to bring forward the potentially damaging legislation.

Cheema welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to hold fire on the promotions ban.

“We are delighted the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns and taken this very pragmatic approach to this legislation.

“These are unprecedented times. Our industry will need time and support to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and it would have been ill-advised to enact this legislation which would have been costly, disruptive and ineffective.”

Joe FItzPatrick, the minister for public health who announced the change said: We remain fully committed to restricting the promotion and marketing of foods high in fat, sugar or salt where they are sold to the public and will seek to progress this measure as soon as it is possible to do so.

“Pausing the introduction of the bill provides us with an opportunity to take stock, take into account the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, including on people’s diet and healthy weight.”