Issued by the Scottish Government
More of Scotland’s spectacular array of food and drink products will be exported around the globe as a result of funding announced today.
To fully exploit opportunities in the UK and international export markets funding of £1.6 million will be provided to support food and drink supply chains and build stronger foundations for further global growth.
Scotland’s Food Minister Richard Lochhead made the announcement as he visited Paterson Arran, an independently owned Scottish food producer in West Lothian.
“Scotland’s worldwide reputation for high quality produce speaks for itself. The provenance of our food has never been more important to consumers and discerning palates around the globe are choosing to eat Scottish produce. That is why we have smashed industry set turnover and export targets six years ahead of schedule and set a new export target of £7.1 billion in just five years. Growth in food exports from Scotland has outperformed that of the UK’s as a whole between 2007 and 2012* and exports of Scotch whisky** were also up by more than 50 per cent over the same period – providing a massive boost to Scotland’s economy.
“The performance of Scotland’s Food and Drink businesses is strong - Scotland’s food and drink exports in 2012 reached £5.3 billion, the second highest on record - but I am determined to maintain that momentum and ensure that as the industry grows there are efficient supply chains that deliver quality products to meet consumer demand.
"I am therefore delighted to launch the 4 -year Market Driven Supply Chain (MDSC) project, funded by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise with a budget of £1.6m. This funding will support food and drink supply chains to fully exploit opportunities in UK and international markets, particularly in emerging markets such as the middle and far east, as well as the key US market.
“Last year when I led a trade mission to Japan and China – which are two key growth markets – it was clear throughout the trip that the provenance of our food and drink, as well as its heritage and uniqueness, is hugely valued by retailers, chefs and consumers. So it is very important we ensure that the primary sector is fully informed, fully engaged and able to meet increased demand and this new funding will help to strengthen the foundations needed to capitalise on and supply that worldwide demand.”
Linda McPherson, Senior Portfolio Director for Food & Drink, Tourism and Textiles at Scottish Enterprise, said:
“Demand for Scottish produce continues to grow across UK and international markets. Our companies now trade tea to China, sausages to Germany and our salmon continues to grow in popularity amongst the sushi loving population of Japan.
“That success is testament to Scotland’s talented and passionate producers and to the strength of the Scotland Food & Drink partnership which has brought together Scottish Enterprise and its international arm Scottish Development International, Government and agencies with industry against a collective ambition to drive growth. Since the launch of the industry strategy in 2007, total overseas exports have increased 52% reaching £5.3 billion in 2012 and total turnover stands at over £13 billion.
“This transformational project harnesses that collaboration and drive to support the food and drink supply chain to fully exploit the opportunities at home and abroad, ensuring our farmers and fishermen are able to realise their potential and move into new export markets whilst supporting existing business.”
Alan Hardie, Managing Director, Paterson Arran said:
“Scotland has a world-renowned reputation for exporting food and drink products of the highest quality.
“The MDSC project will address many of the issues faced by companies as they move to increase these export sales. Often when good sales leads are generated they flounder on logistics or a lack of understanding of how supply chains function. Management sometimes struggle to have the time or the expertise to examine supply chains in depth to ensure they can best exploit these opportunities.
“This project will enable this work to be done both for the UK and Export markets which will be a huge help for Scotland’s food and drink producers. And I am sure it will help accelerate the growth of what is already a successful industry.”
* Source: HMRC Regional Trade Statistics, data extracted 4th December 2013
** Exports of Scotch Whisky are measured as exports of Scotch Whisky from the UK sourced from HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics and are used as a proxy throughout for Scotland’s ‘drink’ exports.