On 1 May the Scottish government will finally implement its legislation on the Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol (MUP). Once again Scotland is a test bed for a controversial policy that will have a big impact on c-store retailers.

As with every policy initiative, there will be both positive and negative effects. Some products in the BWS category may disappear altogether, while it may level the playing in terms of price with big supermarkets. Additionally, any increased profits will go directly to the retailer.

SGF is working with the Scottish government to produce a guide for retailers. Production of the document is being supported by the Scottish government and will be jointly branded, to ensure a ‘gold-plated’ guide. Going forward this is the model we are determined to pursue: for too long government has brought forward legislation and simply expected the trade to foot the bill in terms of ensuring compliance. Our commitment to ensuring responsible retailing meant that we were duty bound to provide guidance but much of the time this meant that we had to rely on contributions from our corporate members.

We are encouraged by the new-found willingness of the Scottish government to work in partnership with us for the overall benefit of the industry.

MUP is highlighting the crucial need for everyone across the supply chain to work together to ensure effective implementation with the minimum of disruption.

Monumental changes such as the proposed Deposit Return System in Scotland can be made to work for us only if the key people – retailers and manufacturers – collaborate effectively.