Coronavirus: SGF calls for suspension of new retail legislation

Pete Cheema

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has called on the Scottish government to suspend the implementation of any legislation which would have an impact on the convenience store sector in Scotland.

In a letter to the First Minister, the Federation welcomed the package of support measures for businesses outlined by the government but urged Nicola Sturgeon to avoid placing any additional compliance or legislative burden on the industry.

Primary legislation to restrict food promotions is scheduled to be launched later this year, as are new food-to-go labelling requirements. Mandatory age restriction of energy drinks could also be implemented in 2020.

SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema (pictured) said: “Even in the best case scenario Covid-19 will have a major impact on convenience stores and it will take considerable time for business to return to normal. Retailers simply cannot be expected to deal with the additional burden of new legislation and compliance. We have gone to the top of the Scottish government to ask for new legislation to be suspended”.

SGF has also taken this to the UK government, asking Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock to urgently consider the suspension of the ban on sales of menthol cigarettes.