Scotland’s Successful Food and Drinks Industry

crabThe excellence of the food and drink produced in Scotland has again demonstrated how valuable this sector  is to the nation’s economy. Exports  were worth approximately £6 billion in 2017 , an increase of almost £570 million  compared to 2016.

The largest sector is in fish and seafood and this saw an increase of 23% bringing in  £944 million.

Food exports were up 15%  +£214 million  totalling £1.6billion

Food products to Europe were up 13%  +£125million , totalling  £1.1  billion.

Scotch Whisky exports also increased by around £356 million compared to 2016.

This comes at a time when the Protected Designated Named Status of quality products from Scotland will go with Brexit unless a similar scheme is agreed.

In Scotland as a whole there are 14 products which have gained this recognition.

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese (PGI) Scottish Farmed Salmon (PGI)
Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar (PGI) Scotch Lamb (PGI)
Stornoway Black Pudding (PGI) Scotch Beef (PGI)
Scottish Wild Salmon (PGI) Arbroath Smokie (PGI)
Shetland Lamb (PDO) Native Shetland Wool (PDO)
Orkney Beef (PDO) Teviotdale Cheese (currently not in production) (PGI)
Orkney Lamb (PDO) Bonchester Cheese (currently not in production) (PDO)

Orkney Beef and Orkney Lamb can only use the brand if they are reared and slaughtered in Orkney.

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink said:

“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 £6 billion 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.

“Sales of Scottish food have now risen more 130% in a decade, but we have greater potential still. Our industry has an ambition to double the value of its sales overseas and in our home market to £30 billion by 2030. Today marks an important step along that road.”

A campaign was launched recently to #KeepScotlandTheBrand after consumers became concerned that  products from Scotland were no longer being marked as such.

Fergus Ewing Minister for Rural Economy in the Scottish Government said:

“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.

“Confirmation by the UK Government that it wants devolved powers over food labelling to transfer to them creates further risk and uncertainty, when much of our success depends on our ability to market Scottish produce and provenance effectively. That’s potentially a huge problem in the long term to our food and drink sector, who share our ambition for further expansion, and to protect our national brands*.

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

Fergus Ewing

Fergus Ewing Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity launching the fruit and veg action plan at the 2017 Royal Highland Show (photo Scot Gov)

Related stories:

Orkney the Brand Under Threat

Campaigners Take to the Streets with Scotland the Brand



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