French develop appetite for Scottish food and drink

whiskyFrench cuisine may be among the finest in the world, but the locals are developing a taste for something else – Scotch whisky and seafood.

Exports of food and drink from Scotland to France have increased by more than 50% since 2007, demonstrating a fast growing French appetite for quality Scottish produce, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said today.

The total value of Scottish food and drink exports to France was £733 million in 2014, up 4.4% on the previous year and an increase of 58% in the past eight years.

This makes France the top European destination for Scottish food and drink exports and the second largest market in the world, behind only the United States.

France’s increasing appetite is strongly supported by a growing taste for Scotch whisky in the wine-loving nation, with exports of the drink across The Channel also rising by more than 50% since 2007.

Valued at £445m in 2014 – a rise of 2.5% on the previous year and 51% over eight years – Scotch whisky accounted for 61% of total Scottish food and drink exports to France in 2014.

Food exports to France were valued at £289m in 2014, an increase of 7.4% on the previous year and a 71% rise since 2007, making it Scotland’s top export market for food. This is supported by a growing demand for premium, high-quality Scottish seafood and salmon. Scottish fish exports to France were worth £214m in 2014.

Tonight Ms Hyslop is hosting a trade and investment reception in Paris, which is not only a promotion of food and drink but a clear statement of the SNP’s commitment to Europe.

She said: “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.”

Fiona Hyslop 2Ms Hyslop (right) said that further increasing Scotland’s 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.

“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.”

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