Emerging world markets and innovation by Scottish companies are key to securing Scotland’s economy in the future, the Secretary of State for Scotland heard on a visit to Glasgow today (Wednesday 23 February).
Michael Moore toured the family-owned McLaren Packaging at Port Glasgow to meet the management and staff and hear about the challenges facing the firm, which employs over 60 people and has an annual turnover of around £9m.
He met the father-and-son team Jim and Donald McLaren, key operational and commercial staff and was given a tour of the factory before discussing steps the UK Government was taking to support business in Scotland.
The award-winning firm benefits indirectly from Scotch Whisky’s strong position in the international market as it has supplied packaging to the drinks industry since 1978. It currently supplies around 20 million cases each year.
Issues facing the company and Scottish industry were also raised during the visit, including price inflation affecting the cost of raw material and fuel prices and their impact on the transportation of goods.
The Secretary of State said:
“The Scottish economy is full of businesses that know the way to secure future growth is to look for opportunities both in the domestic market but also in growing foreign economies.
“McLaren Packaging is a prime example of the positive effects exports to the emerging and established foreign markets can have on the Scottish supply chain. In this case it is based on the success story of Scotch Whisky, but the same applies to companies operating across a wide range of sectors. The UK Government is also tackling the issue of protecting the Scotch Whisky brand internationally through geographical indication of origin status.
“The private sector is absolutely essential to the UK’s recovery and as a government we are working hard to create the right mix of stability and flexibility to allow companies to innovate and grow both profit and jobs.
“I listened closely to the range of issues the company raised on behalf of its sector and will feed those back into government.”
McLaren Packaging was founded in 1978 by Jim McLaren and remains a family owned business based in Port Glasgow. It is a specialist supplier to the drinks industry and has grown and diversified to supply corrugate cases, solidboard divisions, composite tubes, packing machinery and associated packs.
The UK Government has introduced a rolling programme of Growth Review, which was announced last year. It will consider what each part of government is doing to provide the conditions for private sector success and tackle the barriers faced by industry.
The Government is seeking to remove some of the most entrenched barriers to growth that cut across most businesses such as looking at how we change and improve the planning system, competition policy, regulation, trade and inward investment, access to finance and corporate governance.