Food and drink exports hit £1 billion
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has welcomed figures that show Scottish food and drink exports to Asia grew by £72 million in 2016.
The increase to £1.055 billion represents a 7% increase in the value of exports to Asia, a key target market, over the past year.
Latest statistics also show:
Food exports grew by 41% to £160 million
Scotch whisky exports increased by £25 million (up 3%) to £895 million
Dairy and eggs and fruit and vegetable exports improved by 71% and 28% respectively
Fish and seafood exports were worth £66.5 million – up 16%
Mr Ewing said: “These figures clearly show our food and drink industry is in fantastic health. Since this government came to office, the value of food exports has more than doubled. It is clear the partnership approach between industry and government has been pivotal in making food and drink one of our standout economic success stories.
“Retaining access to vital European markets, which account for around 40% of our food and drink exports, remains a priority but we must also continue to extend our reach and these statistics show we are doing just that.
“Our produce has an excellent reputation around the world and it’s clear the industry is going from strength to strength. That is why we are doing everything to help support and grow food and drink exports further, as outlined in the new £10 million industry-led strategy to assist the sector in realising its ambition to double turnover value by 2030.”
Susan Beattie, Head of Food and Drink at Scottish Development International, said: “Asia continues to be a priority under the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan. The team of in-market specialists in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan are helping Scottish companies access new opportunities in this dynamic market on a daily basis opening doors to leading retailers and food service organisations.
“The recent export figures demonstrate strong consumer demand across this rapidly growing region for Scotland’s high quality premium food and drink products.”
James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “The impressive growth in food and drink exports to Asia reflects the hard work on our industry Export Plan. Out of ten priority export markets, we currently have food and drink specialists based in four of them – China, Hong Kong, Japan and across Singapore and Thailand.
“There is still great potential for further growth of Scottish food exports, especially our renowned fish and seafood, into Asian markets which account for nearly a quarter of Scotch Whisky sales”.