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20 January 2005

STEVENSON URGES SUPPORT FOR LOCAL PRODUCERS

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has praised the high quality food producers of Banff and Buchan while also going on condemn the practices of the big supermarkets during a Parliamentary debate on sustaining agriculture and rural communities. Mr Stevenson also went on to highlighted the need for Scotland to change its diet to that of a healthier balanced one.

Commenting on the issue the Banff and Buchan MSP said:

“The debate offered me the chance to inform my Parliamentary colleagues of the many local food producers Banff and Buchan has, for example Macrae Foods Ltd, Sangs of Macduff, Grampian Country Chickens Ltd and International Fish Canners (Scotland), showed to Parliament that agriculture and fishing plays a vital role in our community.”

Mr Stevenson added

“These sectors help sustain rural communities and more must be done to promote and aid local producers. As it stands the supermarkets have a subtle monopoly over the food industry, this is driven not by health and healthy eating, but by margin and price. For example, they use known-value items—the few items on the shelf for which the general public have an idea of price—to create the impression that things are cheap.

“However many people do not realise that their local food producer may be cheaper that the big supermarkets, in fact when I go to my local butcher, who sells organic beef which is locally grown, I pay a lower price than I would pay at Tesco down the road. If more of our communities were to consider the matter, they would discover that option for themselves.”
The MSP concluded by saying

“I would urge more people to sample, the healthy and fresh, locally grown produce. This will have a double affect on our community; firstly the more people who are aware of the healthy options available to them the better people’s health will be in general. Secondly if we purchase our food locally this will mean that money circulates around the local economy. Also by investing in our local produce this could lead to greater tourism, as people from near and far would want to sample the delights that Banff and Buchan has to offer.”

14 January 2005

MSP’s DELIGHT AT LATEST MOVES ON RENAL DIALYSIS PROVISION

Banff & Buchan SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed news that plans to expand the Renal Dialysis Unit at Peterhead Community Hospital have been lodged and approved.

Mr Stevenson – who has campaigned consistently for increased dialysis provision in Banff & Buchan – had previously extracted a specific commitment to the Peterhead expansion from NHS Grampian.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“This is excellent news indeed and I am pleased not only for those dialysis patients using Peterhead Hospital who will see the facility expanded but especially for those who are currently having to travel much further afield to receive their treatment in Aberdeen.

“I hope that the necessary work can be carried out as soon as possible in order to have this expanded facility up and running.

“It is important that people are able to receive medical treatment in their own locality, especially in renal dialysis cases as a long journey to and from Aberdeen takes a severe toll on patients who have to endure it.”
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