Many people around the world will see in 2012 with a dram – and whisky was just one of the success stories for Scotland’s food and drink in the past year.
With overall food exports breaking the £1 billion mark and whisky exports also at a record high, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead hailed 2011 as a momentous year for Scotland’s food and drink industry.
The latest statistics show:
- Food exports from Scotland have broken the £1 billion mark for the first time
- Combined food and drink exports reached an all-time high of £4.5 billion
- Whisky exports reached a record high of £3.45 billion
- The most popular food export from Scotland was fish and shellfish, worth £623 million
- The top market for food and drink exports is France, followed by USA, Spain, Singapore and Germany
- Scotch beef and lamb exports reached £100 million in 2011, for the first time since 1996
- In 2009, the food and drink supply chain in Scotland employed over 360,000 people
Mr Lochhead said:
“Scotland’s food and drink industry has just experienced a record-breaking year and consumers at home and abroad are enjoying and celebrating our larder like never before.
“Despite a difficult economic environment in 2011, our food and drink sectors have exceeded all expectations and are now a huge success story.
“There is a great deal that we can be proud of and I’m sure we will continue to build on these successes in 2012.
“We are fortunate in Scotland that we live in a land of quality food and drink, with a natural larder that is second to none. Increasingly, we are seeing the quality of our produce being recognised world-wide – and with new emerging markets overseas, the sky is the limit.
“Exports are continuing to rise and we are committed to helping the industry deliver a 50 per cent increase in the value of exports by 2016. So it’s great news that there are a number of key growth markets – including China, South Africa and Poland – where exports of Scottish produce are seeing significant growth.
“Thanks to our quality ingredients, clean environment and passionate producers, Scotland is developing an enviable reputation for creating first-class products. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating another record year for Scottish food and drink and look forward to even more success in 2012.”