Growth in Scotland’s food and drink sector has reached a new high of £11.9 billion turnover.
Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the latest growth figures which also show that Scottish food and drink manufacturing has broken the £9 billion mark for the first time, increasing by eight per cent from £8.3 billion to £9.02 billion.
Speaking ahead of two events to mark Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, Mr Lochhead said: “This is fantastic news that Scotland’s food and drink industry has reached an all-time high despite the economic downturn, demonstrating the strength and value of this key sector. These figures show an increase in turnover in the food and drink sector by six per cent from £11.2 billion to £11.9 billion – an increase of over £700 million – between 2008 and 2009.
“Scotland produces some of the greatest food and drink in the world and these figures are a reflection of our wonderful produce, and it is only fitting that we celebrate the industry’s success during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.
“Scottish food and drink manufacturing, a vital part of this key sector, has broken the £9 billion mark for the first time increasing by eight per cent from £8.3 billion to £9.02 billion.
“I would like to congratulate all those in the food and drink sector who contributed to this tremendous achievement. The Scottish Government will continue to support the industry to help further its growth towards meeting the target of £12.5 billion turnover by 2017.”
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said: “These figures are excellent news for the food and drink industry and the whole Scottish economy. To achieve this growth in such a challenging economic environment is testament to Scotland’s quality and growing reputation. We want success throughout the supply chain. We need to improve margins in the primary sectors, grow our manufacturing base and ultimately secure new customers for our fantastic produce.
“There is momentum behind us now and a real buzz in the sector. With the industry, Scottish Government and its agencies working as one, we should be ambitious to achieve even more and cement Scotland’s reputation here and abroad as a land of food and drink.”