McVitie’s could have helped save the Tollcross factory and boosted its sales if it had branded its biscuits as Scottish, a Glasgow MSP has said.

   The owners, Pladis, intend to close the factory with the loss of almost 500 jobs and a massive blow to the east end and Glasgow.

Despite an action group set up by the Scottish Government with the trade unions and city council putting forward a counter proposal to closure the firm is pushing ahead with its devastating plan.

READ MORE: Tollcross McVities owners have been offered cash incentives to keep Glasgow plant

   During a debate in the Scottish Parliament the local MP suggested Pladis had “missed a trick” with their marketing.

     John Mason, Shettleston SNP MSP, said that had the firm branded its products as Scottish it could have boosted sales.

Glasgow Times:

He added: “The galling thing is that all of this has been happening at a time when the Scottish food and drink sector has been doing very well.

“Even within the biscuit sector, we see Tunnocks, Walkers and Border Biscuits doing well, while Baxters and AG Barr have been other success stories.

“We know that Scottish food produce is of a high quality and often commands a premium price on world markets, as is the case with salmon and whisky.

“One disappointment for me has been that McVitie’s has consistently refused to brand its goods from Tollcross as Scottish. I guess that that makes it easier to package all the biscuits in the same way, but the company has missed a trick there.”

The MSP said McVitie’s was not just in competition with other biscuit makers but the Tollcross factory was in competition with other McVitie’s sites in England.

He said: “I broadly accept that the biscuit and snack market is very competitive and there is probably overcapacity.

“Younger people do not seem to be eating biscuits as much as my generation did.

“When I have a Rich Tea, Ginger Nut or Chocolate Digestive with my coffee, I notice that younger staff who work for me tend not to do so.

“Therefore, it was highly likely that Pladis would have to close some factories, and I suspect that Tollcross might not be the last.

“In practice, Tollcross was competing with the other Pladis plants. I know that the Government, council and unions did not want to say this, but the reality is that, if we were to save Tollcross, it would be because another factory in Manchester, Liverpool or Carlisle was to close instead.”

Mason also said that the fact the firm was not headquartered in Scotland with Scottish owners played a part and said there would be a stronger commitment to the local workforce with Scottish ownership.