Interbrew and Wrigleys are the latest big suppliers to sign up as select members of the Rural Shops Alliance, taking the total to 14. RSA manager Sean Carter said the alliance had grown rapidly since formation, and in just over a year it has a retail membership of 2,900. One of its first select members was the Post Office where, Carter said, the alliance was gaining influence by regular meetings with senior personnel. "They are listening to the concerns of our rural membership, and not only listening but acting as well." The RSA has also made headway with the DTI. It has met Nigel Griffiths, the minister for small businesses, has been given seats on the DTI's Small Business Service working parties, and is on the list of bodies consulted about all new legislation affecting small businesses. The alliance has also been forging links with the Food Standards Agency, organising visits for officials to rural shops to discuss how legislation affects them. The FSA has also been involved in training organised by the alliance. {{NEWS }}