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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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SALTIRE COULD SIGNIFY BONUS POINTS FOR SHOPPERS SAYS WHITEFORD

Monday, 13 April 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has called for action by leading supermarkets to encourage shoppers to buy Scottish produce, using a ‘bonus points’, similar to a system already operated successfully by retailers in Ireland promoting local products.

Shoppers in Irish supermarkets are to local produce by shamrock symbols on supermarket shelves, which then also appear on till receipts. These products can often earn bonus points through supermarket loyalty schemes. Eilidh Whiteford is suggesting that Scottish produce could be clearly ‘flagged up’ on till receipts with a small Saltire, which could also earn bonus points where loyalty scheme exist.

The SNP candidate has now written to Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, to ask him to raise the idea with Scotland’s major retailers. The Scottish Government has already established working relations with the major supermarkets to promote environmentally friendly practices such as reducing carrier bag use.

Commenting on the scheme, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Earning bonus points for buying local could be an excellent way to boost Scotland’s economy and cut down on unnecessary food-miles.

“There are already a number of labelling initiatives run by the supermarkets and producer groups, and introducing a further incentive to buy local could be a shot in the arm for Scotland’s farmers and producers.

“Just like the shamrock in Ireland, a Saltire on the shelves and then on the till receipt would help to emphasise how easy and important it is to buy decent local produce, and reward shoppers in the process“

“I have written to the Cabinet Secretary asking him to look at the idea in more detail, and hopefully discuss it at his next meeting with the major supermarkets.

“We need to make full use of Scotland’s magnificent larder if we are to promote healthy eating, reduce pollution from transporting food, and boost the economy during the current downturn.

“A simple scheme like this could make all the difference.”

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