Shetland MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat Beatrice Wishart questioned the Cabinet Secretary at Rural Affairs and Islands portfolio session regarding food and drink supply chain shortages in the run-up to Christmas. Ms Wishart asked:
The Northern Isles are at the end of the supply chain and rely heavily on lifeline ferry services for incoming freight. What assurances can the Scottish Government give that shortages in the national stock supply chain, impacted by Brexit and HGV driver issues, will not be the Grinch that steals islanders’ Christmas?
The Cabinet Secretary indicated that the Scottish Government was in regular discussion with retailers and food and drink providers across the supply chain. Ms Wishart was told the Scottish Government would “continue to monitor the situation” to make sure island communities don’t suffer.
After the question session Ms Wishart said:
“We’ve heard for months about stock shortages in the supply chain, aggravated by labour and HGV driver shortages, Brexit and reduced staff levels because of Covid.
“We are also coming into the time when seasonal weather delays can impact the freight service.
“With Christmas fast approaching, it’s crucial we’re not disproportionately affected by any shortages in the retail or food and drink sectors just because we’re at the end of the line.”
Notes to Editors
You can watch Ms Wishart’s question to the Cabinet Secretary here.