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Committee to consider Scotch inquiry

Published:  03 August, 2009

A Scottish Parliament committee has said it will consider a call for an inquiry into the Scotch whisky industry.

The request was made by Willie Coffey, the SNP MSP for Kilmarnock & Loudoun, the constituency faced with 700 job losses with the proposed controversial closure of a Diageo packaging plant.

Iain Smith, the convenor of the parliament's economy, energy and tourism committee has confirmed that it will consider Coffey's request for an inquiry.

Coffey said: "When Diageo plans to shed so many jobs and ditch 200 years of heritage it is right that it accounts to the wider community for its management of one of Scotland's most important industries.

"Whisky forms a significant component of Scotland and the UK's exports.

"Scotland, as the base of operations, gives the industry a major competitive boost in global markets in terms of reputation and brand loyalty, and I hope that the committee will be able to quantify such factors.

"It is right the Scottish Parliament seeks to inform itself about the strategic direction of the industry and the issues it faces in growing its exports in the face of global competition."