Scottish exports hit record £6 billion

Overseas Scottish food and drink exports were worth approximately £6 billion in 2017 – almost £570 million more than 2016.

Food exports were valued at about £1.6bn– a rise of 15% (£214m) during the same period. Exports of food to Europe were worth £1.1bn after an increase of 13%, or £125m.

Fish and seafood accounted for the majority of food exports and were worth approximately £944m, up 23% from last year. Scotch Whisky exports also increased by around £356m compared to 2016.

Rural Economy Fergus Ewing, says, “Scottish food and drink exports are at an all-time high – with world-renowned Scottish goods like salmon and whisky being consumed across the globe at record levels.

“That’s due in part to sectors working together to sell our remarkable products, and creating or enhancing our national brands.

“The statistics highlight the importance of the EU single market to our food and drink success, with the EU buying more than 40% of our produce. The continuing uncertainty surrounding the UK government’s Brexit plans, and the prospect of losing tariff free access to that market would be potentially devastating for our food and drink industry.

“Our aim is to support the food and drink industry’s ambitions to double its value to £30bn by 2030.”

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, says, “The world is increasingly developing a taste for Scottish produce and it is driving incredible growth for Scottish food and drink businesses and the economy as a whole. A few years ago, reaching £6bn in annual export sales was just an ambition. However, industry leadership and a crucial partnership with government has made it a reality.

“It is particularly important to see our food exports increasing in Asia and North America, following in the footsteps of our number one export, Scotch Whisky, which is firmly back into its growth phase. However, Europe remains the top destination for many of our products, emphasising the need for a Brexit process which protects this vital trade.”

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