Retailers pledge to back Scottish food

Retailers are committing to Scottish food and drink by promising to create thousands of new jobs and extra investment in Scottish produce.

Chains including Aldi, Asda, The Co-operative, Sainsburys and Tesco met with the Scottish Retail Consortium and Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead to pledge support for the region.

Asda is aiming for a 47% increase in sales of local food in Scotland in 2009 and is on course to create 3,500 new jobs, while Morrisons is starting to farm a 700-acre site at Dumfries House in South Ayrshire primarily rearing cattle and sheep.

Scottish Retail Consortium director Ian Shearer said: This kind of high-level engagement, by many of the biggest names in UK retailing, shows the importance we attach to the Scottish market and Scottish produce.

Lochhead added that he was impressed by the supermarkets commitment. It is heartening that leading nation-wide supermarkets are recognising the value of Scotlands food and drink and converting that into tangible investment.

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