A record 420 delegates at this year's Scottish Grocers' Federation conference heard new president Jim Botterill pledge to raise the political profile of Scottish independents during his term in office. Botterill said: "It's estimated that we have a combined retail turnover of more than £850m and employ 15,000 people. The Federation wants to address the total lack of support and investment by Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Parliament or UK government in retail." Botterrill also attacked the Scottish National Party's push to outlaw tobacco advertising in Scotland after the Labour government pulled back from its pledge to ban advertising across the UK. He said: "Our retailers are totally against interfering with advertising within our stores. "We want the status quo to be maintained as we can achieve large sums of money from the tobacco companies for category management and store improvements or revamps. As soon as a ban is introduced in Scotland, £10m to £15m of advertising revenue will automatically be diverted to England." But SNP MSP John Swinney, who was a speaker at the conference, defended the SNP's plans. He said: "There is clear evidence that children are influenced by advertising. Just because we can't do everything it is no excuse for doing nothing. We must use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to improve health in Scotland." Review of Scottish licensing law, the need to curb duty fraud and bootlegging, a review of business and ATM rates, possible rises in the national minimum wage, the climate change levy and red tape were among the political "hot potatoes" Botterill said he wanted to tackle during his two-year tenure. Botterill said the SGF would support plans to introduce a duty paid mark on spirits as the mark on cigarettes had proved a useful weapon in the fight against bootlegging. {{NEWS }}