pound money economy web

Wake up, politicians!

Sir, Recent reports showing how supermarket price inflation has soared to its highest level in five years offer a timely reminder for ministers. Failure to deliver a safe, secure and affordable supply of food will inevitably lead to civil unrest.

Crashing out of Europe with no trade deal, no access to a labour force and facing WTO trade terms will be the biggest challenge the food industry has faced since World War Two.

Farmers like myself are up for the challenge of feeding the nation in this new world, but we will need new technology, to be able to develop more resilient supply chains, and clarity and consistency from politicians.

We need ministers to wake up to the fact that we all need to see a clear food and farming vision that brings together every post-Brexit policy challenge from technology, infrastructure, labour and supply chain integrity, as well as the environment.

Stuart Roberts, T. Roberts & Son

Support Scotch

Sir, I believe your article of October 16 (‘Scotch can’t blame declining sales on alcohol duty hikes’) overlooks the main arguments of the Scotch Whisky Association’s ‘Drop the Dram Duty’ campaign.

The punitive 80% ‘supertax’ on an average bottle of Scotch is holding the industry back, when the government should be supporting its success stories.

The UK market for Scotch began to improve after the spirits duty escalator came to an end and with the 2% cut in excise in 2015. However, it has declined again after the chancellor’s decision to hike tax by nearly 4% in March. Revenue for the Treasury has also fallen, whereas it rose after the 2% cut.

Karen Betts, chief executive, Scotch Whisky Association

Deliveries are crucial

Sir, We know that many retailers are signing up to 99.5% service level agreements around the delivery of click & collect items into stores. But by not pushing for 100% agreements, they are signing up to fail.

If an e-commerce delivery goes wrong, the consumer will often blame the retailer’s delivery partner. However, if there is any problem with in-store pick-up, wrath will be directed at the retail brand - often within earshot of other customers.

Pioneering companies recognise the expertise to transform fulfilment is not necessarily in-house. Partnerships are being formed with delivery experts - and other retailers - in order to transform click & collect into an efficient and cost-effective service 100% of the time.

Mark Bigley, CEO, Secured Mail