Scots food & drink exports up 15% to £5.7bn

Scotland’s food and drink exports rose 14.6% in 2021 to £5.7 billion, recovering significant lost ground, but were still down 5.6% on 2019, according to research by the Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDF Scotland).

“This recovery has been largely driven by a strong return to growth in exports of beverages and seafood products, with both up 16% …” said FDF Scotland.

“Given the global strength of Scotch Whisky exports, it is unsurprising that Scotland’s biggest export category is beverages, which makes up almost three quarters of total exports …

“France is Scotland’s largest export partner, overtaking the USA, with exports now worth more than £1bn …

“Exports to China nearly doubled in 2021 to nearly £225m, making up 4% of Scotland’s food and drink exports.”

FDF Scotland CEO David Thomson said: “Scotland continues to punch above its weight – accounting for the largest share of UK food and drink exports – with an impressive 30% of total exports.”

Salmon Scotland CEO Tavish Scott said: “There is soaring demand for our unrivalled farm-raised Scottish salmon, with exports recovering to near record-levels.

“As well as creating thousands of jobs and opportunities in rural Scotland, farm-raised Scottish salmon is a global success story with high environmental and welfare standards that puts one of the healthiest products we can eat on people’s plates.

“The incredibly encouraging export figures demonstrate the resilience of our industry and are testament to the hard work and dedication of farmers during the Covid pandemic.”