The Federation of Wholesale Distributors and the Scottish Wholesale Association are joining forces to add more weight to their responses to ­government policies.

The chief executives of each are joining the other's Council of Members. "FWD and SWA have a common purpose being the voice of the independent wholesale sector," said SWA ­executive director Kate Salmon.

Salmon will attend the quarterly meetings of the FWD Council, while FWD CEO James Bielby will sit in on SWA meetings from this month. The reciprocal agreement is the first of its kind between the two ­associations.

While the UK and Scottish governments share many policy objectives, implementation ­varies. "This arrangement is about ensuring we are meeting our strategic ­objectives," said Bielby.