Scotland business

Scottish food and drink sales rise sharply

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Scotland's food and drink sales have risen at their fastest pace since 2011, according to new figures.

Scottish government statisticians said the sector generated turnover of £13.9bn in 2016 - an increase of 3.9%, or £527m, on the previous year.

Turnover is estimated to have increased by up to 36% since 2007.

Last year, the Scottish government launched a new strategy in an effort to double the value of food and drink to £30bn by 2030.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "This is more good news for Scotland's food and drink sector, which continues to go from strength to strength.

"We are working hard alongside the sector to help it realise its ambitions, but the continuing uncertainty being caused by Brexit threatens to destabilise our most important export market, and undermine vital access to people who want to come and work here in our food and drink sector."

James Withers, chief executive of industry body Scotland Food and Drink, said: "Our unique strategic approach - working across industry and in partnership with the Scottish government and its agencies - has no doubt been the game-changer and driver to this success.

"The challenge going forward is to ensure that continued growth is reflected within the agricultural sector and achieving this is going to require new thinking across the supply chain."

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