Overseas Scottish food and drink exports were worth approximately £6 billion in 2017 – almost £570 million more than 2016.
Food exports were valued at about £1.6 billion – a rise of 15% (£214 million) during the same period. Exports of food to Europe were worth £1.1 billion after an increase of 13%, or £125 million.
Fish and seafood accounted for the majority of food exports and were worth approximately £944 million, up 23% from last year. Scotch Whisky exports also increased by around £356 million compared to 2016.
Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said: “Scottish food and drink exports are at an all-time high – with world-renowned Scottish goods like salmon and whisky being consumed across the globe at record levels. That’s due in part to sectors working together to sell our remarkable products, and creating or enhancing our national brands.
“The statistics highlight the importance of the EU single market to our food and drink success, with the EU buying more than 40% of our produce. The continuing uncertainty surrounding the UK Government’s Brexit plans, and the prospect of losing tariff free access to that market would be potentially devastating for our food and drink industry.
“The Scottish Government is doing all we can to support the growth of food and drink exports: working with key sectors to develop new and existing markets, boosting innovation and skills, and supporting Scotland’s local producers via business rates exemptions and grants for example.”
Susan Beattie, head of Food and Drink at Scottish Development International, said: “It’s fantastic to see such strong demand for our high quality premium products across the globe. The Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan brings together SDI and trade association resources to help companies access opportunities in our top prospect markets. This includes a team of in-market specialists who are opening doors for Scottish companies with retailers and foodservice organisations, so we’re anticipating a continuing increase in food and drink exports over the next few years.”