Membership of the Scottish Grocers' Federation (SGF) has never been stronger, president Pete Cheema told the trade association's annual conference at St Andrews in Fife last month.
Pete, a Spar retailer with stores in Stirling and Perthshire, told the 400-plus
delegates that to expect every independent in Scotland to join the Edinburgh-based trade association was perhaps "a little optimistic",
but the fact that 123 new members joined last year was a sign that it was viewed positively.
The conference, themed 'Alive & Kicking', secured its main sponsorship from the Scottish Executive's Healthy Living campaign, in which the SGF is heavily involved.
The programme has recently entered its third phase, which aims to roll out the initiative more widely by developing promotions in stores, encouraging impulse sales of fresh produce, and bringing in staff training.
Pete said: "We are now involved in all consultation exercises set up by the Executive and seen very much as a 'go to' body."