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Lochhead hails 'spectacular success'

Food and drink sector passes £14 billion sales milestone

Richard LochheadScotland’s food and drink industry is generating record sales and growing twice as fast as the UK as a whole.

New analysis from the Scottish Government shows year-on-year turnover rose £550 million to £14.3 billion in 2013 –  the latest figures available – and by 24% since 2008.

Food Secretary Richard Lochhead (right) said it means Scotland’s food and drink growth sector is on track to meet the industry’s turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017.

Food and drink manufacturing – which accounts for about three quarters of the total turnover figure – has grown twice as fast as the UK since 2008.

On a visit to the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group in Bellshill, Mr Lochhead said: “Our food and drink growth sector is a spectacular Scottish success story. To surpass £14bn for the first time is simply outstanding and must give the sector real confidence.”

Scotland Food & Drink chief executive James Withers said: “Breaking £14bn for the first time is a hugely important milestone. Behind that huge figure lies individual success stories with food and drink business both large and small thriving in domestic market and international markets.

“This success is a direct outcome of the collaboration we’ve developed in Scotland with different organisations, government and individual companies working collectively. It has been a game-changer and has built a national identity for Scottish food and drink, driving growth at twice the rate of the UK average.

“No sector is without challenges. In food and drink, there are rising costs, variable exchange rates and really challenging times for farmers and fishermen who underpin the sector. However, the opportunities outweigh the challenges and we’ve earmarked over £2bn in further growth in the next few years.”

Stephen Cameron, managing director of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group, said: “It is fantastic news that Scotland’s food and drink sector is thriving and I am delighted that the Scottish farmed shellfish sector is playing its role in this success story.”

Mr Lochhead travels to Italy this week to promote Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink at the prestigious international Milan Expo.

He said: “The Milan Expo is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors, making it the ideal platform to showcase Scotland during our Year of Food and Drink. During my visit I will be promoting Scotland’s outstanding natural larder which is already in high demand across the globe for its exceptional quality and unrivalled provenance.”

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: “This is fantastic news and most appropriate as Scotland celebrates its outstanding natural larder during the Year of Food and Drink.”

Scottish Government analysis shows:

  • Scotland’s food and drink growth sector generated turnover of approx. £14.3 billion in 2013, up 4.0% (£550 million) from the revised 2012 estimate (£13.8 billion).
  • Between 2008 and 2013, turnover in Scotland’s food and drink growth sector rose 24% (£2.8 billion) from £11.6 billion in 2008.
  • In 2013, Scotland’s food and drink growth sector generated GVA of approx. £5.3 billion, up 11.6% (£544 million) from the revised 2012 estimate (£4.7 billion).
  • Between 2008 and 2013, GVA in Scotland’s food and drink growth sector rose 9.8% (£468 million) from approx. £4.8 billion in 2008.
  • Food and drink manufacturing continues to account for a large share of the food and drink growth sector’s turnover (74%) and GVA (74%).
  • Over the period 2008 to 2013, turnover growth in Scotland’s food and drink manufacturing sector (22%) outperformed that exhibited by the UK food and drink manufacturing sector (11.0%), the whole manufacturing sector in Scotland (-17%) and the whole manufacturing sector in the UK (5.2%).
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