SWA welcomes DRS support package but says concerns remain

SWA chief executive Colin Smith recently met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to emphasise the problems with the Deposit Return Scheme.

Circularity Scotland has today (21 February) announced £22 million of cashflow support measures to help Scotland’s brewers, distillers, importers and drinks manufacturers prepare for the introduction of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

The support package is particularly designed to help SMEs, who have previously voiced concerns about the impact of the scheme on their business’s cashflow.

To address these concerns, Circularity Scotland is removing the day one and month one charges for all producers, up to a threshold of three million units per year. It is also providing two month credit terms on deposits and fees up to the same volume threshold to reduce the working capital impact on all producers.

Circularity Scotland has also confirmed that it will be offering the option to use self-adhesive barcode labels for producers placing less than 25,000 units per year of a specific product on to the Scottish market. This will provide an administrative solution for independent producers and importers for whom the cost of changing packaging to introduce new barcodes could be prohibitive.

Commenting on the support package, Colin Smith, chief executive of the Scottish Wholesale Association, said: “SWA welcome Circularity Scotland’s announcement of the removal of upfront charges and retrospective payment terms for small producers and importers, including wholesalers.

“We’re pleased that Circularity Scotland and the Scottish Government have listened to our concerns about the cashflow issues facing businesses; however, many concerns remain unanswered around price-marked packs, GS1 compliant barcodes, bonded warehouses and other issues. SWA will continue to push for an 18-month grace period to allow those small producers/importers to prepare for DRS as well as for a de minimis exemption for low volume products.”

He continued: “There are still too many unanswered questions for producers and importers to sign up to the DRS in a week’s time. The 28th February deadline must be shelved in writing by the Scottish Government so that businesses across the supply chain still have the confidence to keep trading in Scotland.”

Published Date: February 21, 2023
Category: Wholesale Industry News