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Scottish food and drink exports hit record £6 billion

UK News | Published:

Scotch whisky exports accounted for the large majority of products going overseas.

Whisky sales accounted for more than £4.6 billion of the exports (David Cheskin/PA)

A record value of Scottish food and drink worth around £6 billion was exported last year, according to latest figures.

Goods from Scotland going overseas rose by almost £570 million in 2017 – about 10% – compared with 2016.

The new HMRC data sticks to a trend of export growth, which has seen food sales surge by more than 130% in a decade.

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.”

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Scotch whisky exports increased by around £356m compared to 2016 and accounted for the large majority of products going overseas.

Last year saw more than £4.3bn worth of the spirit being shipped abroad.

Scottish seafood was the highest valued edible product in the industry going overseas (PA)
Scottish seafood was the highest valued edible product in the industry going overseas (PA)

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Fish and seafood accounted for the majority of food exports and were worth around £944m, up 23% from last year.

Those going to Europe were worth £1.1bn after an increase of 13%, or £125 million.

Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing tries his hand at preparing poultry (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing tries his hand at preparing poultry (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“That’s due in part to sectors working together to sell our remarkable products, and creating or enhancing our national brands.

“The Scottish Government is doing all we can to support the growth of food and drink exports: working with key sectors to develop new and existing markets, boosting innovation and skills, and supporting Scotland’s local producers via business rates exemptions and grants for example.”

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