Scotland business

Scottish food exports reach for £1.1bn for first time

Scottish salmon Image copyright PA
Image caption Food exports were driven up by a strong rise in overseas sales of fish and seafood

Scottish food exports reached £1.1bn for the first time last year, according to new figures.

The Scottish government said a 3.5% rise in exports was largely driven by overseas sales of fish and seafood, which climbed by £38m to £613m.

When drink was included alongside food, total exports were valued at £5.1bn.

The top international destination for Scottish food and drink produce remained the US, with exports worth £800m.

It was followed by France, with exports of £734m in 2014.

Fish and seafood

For the first time, Spain entered the top three export destinations, with sales valued at £247m.

The fourth and fifth export markets, ranked by value, were Germany (£208m) and Singapore (£202m).

Food exports to China soared by 82% to £46m, with the figures largely driven by sales of fish and seafood.

Overseas food sales to the wider Asia and Oceania region were up 31% to £113m.

Scottish Food Secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the figures, which he said were 2reflective of the fantastic produce we have to offer here in Scotland."

'National identity'

He added: "We have a wonderful natural larder that lends itself to some of the best produce in the world and we have some extremely hard-working farmers, producers and processors who deserve the recognition that comes with their products being in demand all across the globe."

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said: "Scotland's national identity continues to grow in food and drink markets around the world.

"Whisky has blazed a trail globally, but it is one that is being increasingly followed by other food and drink products.

"Europe remains our biggest food export market but we are beginning to now realise our ambitions to expand across North America, the Middle East and Asia."

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