Mr Ewing said:
“While these figures clearly show our food and drink industry to be in rude health, they also highlight the importance of continued access to vital European markets. The EU accounted for 69% of our total food and 31% of our drinks exports – a significant, and potentially at risk amount.
“I am committed to doing everything I can to help support our food and drinks industry to export more, and to more markets, as outlined in the industry-led Ambition 2030 strategy that aims to double the sector’s turnover by 2030. Our larder is world renowned for its quality and diversity, and these figures clearly demonstrate how our industry is continuing to go from strength to strength.”
Susan Beattie, Head of Food and Drink at Scottish Development International, said:
“Scotland’s extensive larder of natural, high quality products continues to drive global appetite for our food and drink exports. The Scotland Food & Drink in-market specialists in our top prospect markets are opening doors for Scottish companies with high end retailers, luxury hotels, leading chefs and distributors to help drive this growth, while our recent Showcasing Scotland event attracted 100 international buyers from 16 countries to meet with 140 food & drink businesses in Scotland, creating significant new export opportunities”.
James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink chief executive, said:
“This is another boost to Scotland’s food export performance with international trade rising by a quarter from the same time last year. With nearly 70% of food exports destined for Europe, these figures are a further reminder that a comprehensive trade deal between the UK and EU is essential for our industry and the Scottish economy. With Scottish food and drink making huge strides across North America and the Far East with Scottish trade staff opening doors overseas, this export success story has much farther still to go.”