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20/10/14 12:27

Media Briefing - Monday 20 October 2014

Media Briefing by a Scottish Government Spokesperson - Monday 20 October 2014

The Scottish Government Spokesperson (SGS) welcomed journalists to the briefing and ran through the day's key events:

The First Minister has met at Stormont with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. Seven years after signing an historic agreement to work together to secure better deals from Westminster, they have pledged that both administrations will continue in their collaboration to push for further progress. The First Minister commented that there was added poignancy to the meeting as it took place on the day after former First Minister the Rt Rev Ian Paisley’s memorial.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has highlighted that carrier bag charges come into effect today. All retailers must now charge a minimum of five pence for each bag. Mr Lochhead has commented that he is extremely proud of the legislation, and said that it was heartening to see so many retailers had signed up the carrier bag commitment that includes a pledge to donate money raised through the charge to good causes around Scotland.

Food export statistics released today show that France is now Scotland’s biggest export market for food, with a total of £268 million worth exported in 2013. Scotland has experienced a surge in food and drink exports in recent years, up 51% between 2007 and 2013.

Today also sees the publication of the Wildlife Crime Annual Report 2013. This is a summary of statistics from over the past year, and shows that wildlife crime has been generally static over the last five years.

The SGS then ran through key events for the rest of the week.