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16 March 2005

STEVENSON MEETS WITH SUPERMARKET CHAIN

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has met with senior officials from the ASDA supermarket chain for discussions at the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP MSP had a full agenda for his meeting which included the Supermarket Code of Conduct for dealing with farmers and producers, reducing the amount of ‘food miles’ through environmentally-friendly transport methods and community relations.

Mr Stevenson also took the opportunity to promote the goods of several local companies in his constituency to ASDA and received an undertaking that contact would be established with the companies concerned to discuss getting their products into ASDA stores.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“This was a very valuable meeting indeed and I am grateful to ASDA for their involvement in what should hopefully prove to be a very useful meeting for several local companies who wish to get the opportunity to bid for business now that the chain has an outlet in Banff & Buchan.

“We covered a range of issues and I was very impressed with the company’s attitude towards the environment, with much of their supplies for the North-east arriving in Aberdeen by rail. ASDA has also appointed an ‘events co-ordinator’ at their Peterhead store to link-up with local groups and organisations to offer help wherever possible as the company is keen to establish links with the local community.

“Of particular concern to me was the Supermarket Code of Conduct which has been raised with me by many of my farming constituents. I impressed upon the company that, while I was not singling them out for criticism, that the big supermarket chains must treat their suppliers and producers fairly and pay a fair price. The dairy industry is a good example of where this is not happening and this remains a matter of concern to me.

“This was a very positive meeting and I aim to meet with officials from the other supermarkets in the near future to continue the good progress that has been made with ASDA.”

Stewart Stevenson
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