Food and drink sector turnover hits record £14.3bn

Scotland’s food and drink sector generated a record turnover of £14.3billion in 2013, according to new analysis from the Scottish Government.

The figures show turnover is £550million up on the year before, and has risen by almost a quarter since 2008.

As a result, the industry is now on track to meet a turnover target of £16.5billion by 2017.

Three-quarters of the total turnover figure can be attributed to food and drink manufacturing which, since 2008, has grown twice as fast as the UK sector as a whole.

Scottish Food Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Our food and drink growth sector is a spectacular Scottish success story with turnover reaching a record high in 2013. To surpass £14billion for the first time is simply outstanding and must give the sector real confidence.

“Our country is blessed with fantastic natural resources and this industry – with its strong brand and talented people - is Scotland's jewel in the crown. I am committed to seeing it thrive and flourish which is why the Scottish Government and our agencies are working closely with industry to achieve its ambitious targets, which have previously been smashed years ahead of schedule.

“It is because of this joint approach that we are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the UK, with food and drink manufacturing in Scotland, for example, growing at twice the UK rate between 2008 and 2013.”

Scotland Food & Drink chief executive, James Withers, added: “Breaking £14billion 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 £2billion in further growth in the next few years.”