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2 September 2015

Stevenson Praises Programme of Support for the North East Food and Drink Industry

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has congratulated the First Minister and the Scottish Government on the new Programme for Government 2015/16 launched this week.

He praised the emphasis on the food and drink industry adding:

“The food and drink industry is an important source of employment in my constituency - we are the home of excellent beef and lamb, and fishing is a strong industry in the north-east of Scotland.

“We have seen oilseed rape move from being a commodity that puts nitrogen back into the soil to delivering first-class extra-virgin oil - used in the best kitchens in these islands and beyond. We have seen the north-east of Scotland become a centre for garlic production - we are exporting garlic to France. We are innovating and we are continuing to improve.”
However Mr Stevenson also highlighted challenges facing Scotland’s industries, adding:

“I hope that the Government, in supporting the food and drink industry, will look at how we can improve branding for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

“Recent troubles in the fish-processing industry in my constituency are based on the inability of even quite large firms to control their own destiny to an adequate extent. Firms do not own the brands but are doing work for others, on short-term contracts, and when the contract moves, the effects can be devastating.

“We produce some of the best food and drink in the world, but we can do more and we need more support.”
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