- 340 companies have directly exported their products since 2014.
- Food and drink is Scotland’s No.1 export sector.
- Phase two will fund ‘in-market specialists in key countries.
- Scotland to target South East Asia where demand for premium products with strong provenance is growing.
AS in-fighting at Westminster continues and still no clear vision about Brexit, food and drink producers outside of Scotland have been left in despair as initiatives like the Food & Drink Sector Council go on the back burner.
Meanwhile, the Scottish government is going all out to support its No.1 export sector, food and drink.
Launching phase two of the Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan, it aims to double exports to £30 billion by 2030, backed by £4.5m in capital grants.
With joint funding from the Scottish Government, the food and drink industry and Scottish Development International, its core plan is to build a global team of trade specialists with their feet firmly on the ground in key cities across the world.
“The need to explore and exploit international markets could not be clearer, given the current uncertainty around our future trading relationship with Europe – our single largest market, which is eight times larger than the UK market alone,” said rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing.
The ‘in-market trade specialists’ will offer expert advice, forge stronger relationships with buyers and encourage Scottish businesses to develop new products.
The export plan outlines attending global trade shows and promoting food and drink directly to overseas retailers and ‘restaurant take-overs’ to increase visibility of Scottish produce.
Craft beer and spirt buyers from the USA and seafood customers from Europe, amongst others, will also be invited to visit Scotland.
“Scotland’s food and drink sector has grown year on year, increasing by 78% since 2007. Last year exports reached a record level of £6.3 billion, which is in part thanks to the success of the first phase of the export plan,” said Ewing.
The Scottish Government has also launched a wider export strategy – A Trading Nation – setting out plans for growing Scotland’s exports to add around £3.5 billion to GDP and create 17,500 more jobs.
Chief executive of Food Drink Scotland James Withers added: “Food and drink has become Scotland’s biggest export and yet there are still huge opportunities still in front of us.
“From Tokyo to Toronto, there is growing demand for world class products with a strong provenance story and on that front Scotland can compete with anywhere in the world.”
Industry contributions to the plan come from Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board; Opportunity North East; Quality Meat Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Seafood Scotland.
North America (USA & Canada)
Mainland China and Hong Kong
Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
SE Asia (Singapore & Thailand
Nordics (Norway, Denmark, Sweden & Finland
Benelux (predominantly Belgium and the Netherlands
Scottish food and drink companies wanting to get involved should call 0300 013 2734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org