Food production, storage and distribution have an unavoidable impact on the environment. FWD members seek to minimise this through initiatives that increase the efficiency of the supply chain, from the producer to the consumer.
Initiatives include: route optimisation technology; driver training; low carbon fuels; back hauling and recycling of waste and packaging; reducing packaging; recycling used cooking oil and reducing waste to landfill.
FWD is working closely with Government on its 25 year environment plan and other environmental policy proposals including those around using the tax system to tackle the use of single use plastics and other ways to tackle plastic waste.
Pressure had been growing for the Government to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme, which is intended to cut plastic, glass and metal drinks container waste by incentivizing consumers who return their drinks containers with a small cash sum.
In contrast, heavy handed regulation to promote sustainability can be costly and burdensome for wholesalers largely operating as low margin businesses.
For example, if wholesalers no longer had a unique status under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a significant increase in costs for the numerous wholesalers who supply the many SMEs around the country would occur. Our forecasting suggests that there would be over a 300% increase in the cost to wholesalers, many of whom are already facing significant financial challenges in the current economic climate. Any increases would be passed onto the consumers we serve in the form of higher prices.
We are calling on the Government to:
January 2020: The Scottish Parliament Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has published its report on the draft Deposit Return Scheme regulations. The report includes a number of recommendations to the Scottish Government, including:
the supply chain. including wholesalers
parts of the UK or it could encourage the UK Government to bring forward proposals for a DRS
FWD responded to the Committee’s call for written evidence, working closely with SWA. FWD were men-tioned in the report: “The Federation of Wholesale Distributors suggest producers should pay the deposit to the Scheme Administrator so that wholesalers are bypassed.” Several of the recommendations put forward by FWD and SWA have been adopted by the committee.
The Scottish Government will respond to the Committee’s report within two months. The Scottish Govern-ment’s own consultation on the regulations, to which FWD responded, closed last week.
A final version of the draft regulations will now be laid in the Scottish Parliament for consider- ation. The Environment Committee then has a further 40 days to consider it again, and report on it.