Scots food and drink turnover rises to £14bn

Scotland’s food and drink sector generated £13.9 billion in turnover in 2016, a rise of 3.9% on the previous year and the highest annual growth since 2011.

The improvement is part of a wider turnover growth estimated to be up 36% from 2007.

Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said: “We’re very fortunate in Scotland to have a natural larder which is renowned the world over.

“We can rely on our hard working farmers to harvest that larder, and a vibrant business community working collaboratively to sell our remarkable products, and enhance our national brands.

“As the statistics show, the net result has been a steady increase in sector growth over the past ten years, helped by a record £6 billion in exports last year.

“The signs are positive that we are moving in the right direction to achieve our ambition of doubling the value of Scotland’s food and drink to £30 billion by 2030.

“We are working hard alongside the sector to help it realise its ambitions, but the continuing uncertainty being caused by Brexit threatens to destabilise our most important export market, and undermine vital access to people who want to come and work here in our food and drink sector.”

James Withers, CEO at Scotland Food & Drink commented: “In a world where consumers are seeking out world-class products with authentic provenance, Scotland is ideally placed to be a leader in the field.

“This latest set of results clearly demonstrates that our global identity for world-class produce is growing.

“It is fantastic to see the food and drink sector returning to growth again.

“Our unique strategic approach — working across industry and in partnership with the Scottish Government and its agencies — has no doubt been the game-changer and driver to this success.

“The challenge going forward is to ensure that continued growth is reflected within the agricultural sector and achieving this is going to require new thinking across the supply chain.”