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Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse and Angela Crawley, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East, visited the Stonehouse based company, Galloway & McLeod (G&M), who are specialists in producing animal feed. They also had the opportunity to hear from the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) on the work they do across Scotland.

Managing director of G&M, Donald Harvey, gave the group a tour around the offices and facilities at the Stonehouse base. He highlighted the positive move towards further automation of their process for mixing animal feed and work on using more environmentally sustainable packaging for shipping. G&M have been successfully making their way into European markets in previous years, with plans in place to continue growing their international and digital footprint with the launch of an

e-commerce site.

Donald also noted a sustainable increase in profitability since the company took the decision to become employee owned in 2010. This is just one example of the company’s local focus. G&M try to hire from the local community where possible and provide progression for those who come to work, with the average length of service for their employees being 15 years.

Donald said: “Stonehouse is a great location for our business with good motorway connections and easy links to transport hubs allowing economic and efficient deliveries to the U.K and Europe. Recent Broadband improvements are making a positive difference to our business as we seek to reduce our carbon footprint. Employee ownership is key to our success, improving understanding and responsibility, building and developing careers ensuring sustainable progress.”

Ian Muirhead, AIC Scotland Policy Manager, gave a presentation highlighting the work the organisation does on behalf of its 43,000 direct and indirect represented employees in the agricultural industries. He highlighted the importance of the agriculture industry in Scotland, which supports more than 427,000 jobs in the Scottish economy.

Ian said: “It was great to meet with both Christina and Angela and discuss a wide range of issues which affect the Agri-supply sector. We discussed the affect that Brexit may have on the industry and highlighted the need to have a managed exit from the EU, acknowledging that a no deal exit could have disastrous consequences for the wider rural economy. Going forward AIC Scotland aims to get more MSP’s and MP’s out on visits to member companies to play our part in helping to shape a prosperous future for the agricultural industry.”

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Speaking after the visit, Christina said: “The level of dedication to the local community at G&M is wonderful to see. They are the perfect example of the benefits that come to both the residents and the company when these strong links are forged. I look forward to seeing the ongoing successes of the company in the future.”

Angela said: “It was a pleasure to meet with the team at Galloway and MacLeod and hear of their fantastic work supporting the people of Stonehouse and the surrounding areas. They are a great example of a company that cares about their community and contributes to its success. I am looking forward to working with the team and wish them the very best for the future.