THE likely loss of more than 1700 jobs at Dutch-owned Hall's of Broxburn is a bitter blow not just to West Lothian and the Scottish pig industry but the whole of the Scottish economy.
For a nation that boasts too few large sustainable companies, each one that disappears is keenly felt.
Hall's is the victim of a cruel confluence of circumstances: namely, historically steep rises in animal feed, combined with big increases in fuel prices. It has also suffered the classic squeeze between high borrowing costs and big supermarkets capable of screwing down the margins of their suppliers, especially in the high-volume market. It is they, not the retailers, who pay for all those tempting "bogof" (buy one get one free) offers. More needs to be done to create a level playing field between suppliers and retailers.
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