We’ll still push for our causes

Chiefs are ready to work with new FM

Nicola Sturgeon walking across stage with SNP in large letters
Sturgeon held the position for more than eight years before deciding to step down.

CONVENIENCE and grocery industry leaders have vowed to continue to fight their corner with whoever becomes First Minister at the end of the month.

They also wished outgoing FM Nicola Sturgeon well after she surprisingly announced her intentions to stand down on 15 February following more than eight years in the role.

Pete Cheema, chief executive at the Scottish Grocers Federation, said: “Over the past eight years, SGF has worked closely with both the First Minister and the Scottish Government on many vital issues affecting our sector, and we wish her all the best for the future.

“Convenience retailers are at the heart of their communities across Scotland and SGF looks forward to working with the new First Minister during this crucial and challenging time for many stores.”

Colin Smith, chief executive at the Scottish Wholesale Association, said while he had recently raised concerns over DRS and alcohol advertising restrictions with Sturgeon, he had also been able to thank her for the financial support many members received during the pandemic.

He added: “On a personal basis, SWA wish her well in the future and we will continue to work with the new FM, the Scottish Government and MSPs across the Parliament, including Ms Sturgeon, on the issues affecting our members.”

David Thomson, chief exec at Food and Drink Federation Scotland, expressed his gratitude for the collaborative working relationship the industry had with Sturgeon. He said: “It’s vital to our industry that the new FM continues to work closely with us, not least as we all work to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”

David Lonsdale, director at the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The policy choices made by the next FM will come at a pivotal moment for Scotland’s economy and recovery.

“Retail is Scotland’s largest private sector employer, providing almost 250,000 jobs, and we all have a stake in a flourishing retail industry.”