SWA demands seat on Board

Chief Executive Colin Smith presents request to committee over DRS representation

The Scottish Wholesale Association has demanded that the wholesale channel be recognised on the Board of the Scottish DRS Administrator.

As currently envisaged by the Scottish Government, the membership of the proposed DRS Administrator includes only retailers, manufacturers and producers, which Colin Smith, Chief Executive of SWA, views as unacceptable given the huge role that the wholesale channel will play in the new DRS.

Smith told the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee: “In our view, Board Membership [of the Administrator] should reflect the parts of the supply chain that are obligated under DRS. Wholesalers are critical to the implementation and success of DRS in Scotland and that vital role should be reflected with a position on the Administrator Board for the Scottish Wholesale Association as the lead body for Scotland’s wholesaling industry”.

Smith also highlighted the fact that the wholesale association is the only pivotal part of the supply chain that is not compensated in any way under the current DRS proposals, either through a handling fee or as members of the Administrator.

“Indeed, as the wheels of Scotland’s food and drink industry the wholesale channel will deliver DRS obligated products to Scotland’s 4,972 independent retailers and 39,000 restaurants, pubs and clubs and can therefore play a hugely important role in helping to identify fraud.”

The SWA also used the opportunity to call for the addition of a dispute resolution mechanism into the DRS proposals as well as a formal means of ensuring that all voices of those in the supply chain are heard and taken into consideration.

“For the new DRS to work optimally in Scotland it must be as inclusive as possible and must take into account the interests and views of all of those in the wider supply chain who will be affected by the Scheme,” concluded Smith. “Wholesalers in particular will be fundamental to the success of the Scheme and this role should be recognised with formal SWA membership of the Administrator.”

Colin Smith Deposit Return Scheme DRS DRS Administrator Scotland Scottish government SWA wholesale