Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan today participated in a conference call to discuss supply-chain challenges facing Scotland’s island communities during the coronavirus outbreak.

The meeting was co-chaired by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing and Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse. Alasdair Allan was joined by other Highlands and Islands MSPs and MPs including Angus Brendan MacNeil MP.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“The coronavirus outbreak is an immense problem which we all have to face together.

“The supply chains for key sectors, such as food, seem to be holding up well after initial spates of panic buying. However, as the effects of the outbreak worsen, it’s crucial to make sure there are adequate contingency plans in place to ensure essential goods continue to reach the islands.

“Today’s meeting was a chance to raise some of the issues which people have raised with me. I emphasised to ministers the need to ensure that wholesalers understand the needs of small shops in the islands, including the need for them to have access to supplies in the quantities that they need, and I raised the issue of contingency planning around transport. I also emphasised to ministers the needs of small businesses in the islands, who may not always meet all the criteria for the very welcome packages of support that now exist for them.

“The picture remains broadly that supplies are bearing up well, but today was a good chance for politicians of all parties to discuss ways of ensuring that this remains the case over the course of this crisis.”

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