Food, drink exports to France reach 1bn Euros

French love of Scottish whisky and seafood has helped Scots food and drink exports to France to increase by more than 50 per cent since 2007 — showing the importance of Scotland’s continued EU membership — according to the Scottish Government.

External affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop said the total value of Scottish food and drink exports to France in 2014 was roughly 1 billion Euros (£733 million), up 4.4 per cent on the previous year and up 58 per cent since 2007.

“Protecting the strategic position of Scottish exporters is just one of the many reasons why the Scottish Government will continue to make the positive case for our EU membership,” said Hyslop.

France is the leading destination in mainland Europe for Scottish food and drink exports and is Scotland’s second largest food and drink exports market behind the United States.

Scotch whisky exports to France have jumped by more than 50 per cent since 2007. Valued at £445 million in 2014 – up 2.5 per cent on the previous year and 51 per cent since 2007 — Scotch made up 61 per cent of Scottish food and drink exports to France in 2014.

Led by seafood, Scots food exports to France soared to £289 million in 2014, an increase of 7.4 per cent on the previous year and up 71 per cent since 2007, making France Scotland’s top export market for food.

Strong demand for Scottish seafood and salmon helped Scottish fish exports to France reach £214 million in 2014.

“We’ve seen the value of Scottish food and drinks exports to France increase significantly in recent years, underlining the growing importance our friends across The Channel place on sourcing authentic produce from Scotland’s rich and natural larder.

“This is a real compliment from the nation widely recognised as the world’s culinary epicentre.

“These figures show that in addition to their renowned love of great wine — the French have also developed a growing taste for Scotch whisky and a healthy appetite for our premium salmon and seafood.

“Further increasing our food and drink offering in France is a major priority for the Scottish Government.

“We have identified France as a top prospect market within our national export plan, and our in-market Scottish food and drink specialist, Cameron Sutherland, who works in Paris, is working hard with the Scottish Government and its agencies to further strengthen the growth we’ve seen in recent years.

“Ensuring Scottish exporters remain within the Single Market is essential to this. Continuing Scotland’s EU membership not only guarantees that place, but gives Scotland a voice in setting the rules governing that market.”