Nicola Gordon-Seymour Wal-Mart is seeking closer links with suppliers in Scotland, according to the vice-president of its international food division. Speaking at the Scottish Food Conference in Edinburgh organised by Scottish Enterprise, Pete Netzel told delegates that Wal-Mart wanted to build on its established base in the area with the help of local businesses. Netzel said: "We are constantly seeking to develop links with suppliers who know and understand the market. In return, Wal-Mart can offer the opportunity to build their business globally." And he added: "Relationships between suppliers and retailers must be built on trust and the sharing of information." But Stanley Bernard, chairman and chief executive of Sco-Fro Foods, warned delegates not to lose sight of the need for competitiveness and to constantly update their skills. "We already have a high standard of management, but we need to attract more good people to the industry. Training is becoming a more necessary component," he said. Scottish Enterprise, educational institutions and industry partners are developing the framework for a more focused training scheme. Called the Food Learning Network, it will be accessible to the entire Scottish food industry. Although still in the early planning stages, it will enable training through online courses, universities, colleges, and mentoring. {{NEWS }}