Whisky and food sectors embrace spirit of collaboration

Scotland Food & Drink chief James Withers, left, with SWA boss David Frost at the charter launch. Picture: Colin Hattersley

Scotland Food & Drink chief James Withers, left, with SWA boss David Frost at the charter launch. Picture: Colin Hattersley

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Scotland’s whisky and food industries have joined forces in a bid to grow overseas sales.

The new export collaboration charter, drawn up between the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and Scotland Food & Drink, seeks to encourage the sharing of best export practice and networks across the food and drink sector,

The two organisations, working closely with Scottish Development International (SDI), said they will have a key role to play in helping Scotland reach its goal of increasing exports from the current level of £5.1 billion to £7.1bn by 2017.

READ MORE: Richard Lochhead: Boosting food and drink industry

Speaking at today’s launch at shortbread baker Paterson Arran’s site in Livingston, food secretary Richard Lochhead said: “As we near the end of the Year of Food & Drink, it is appropriate that we look towards the future.

“It’s great that the SWA is showing its commitment to the food sector, as well as whisky, and I believe today’s charter will potentially be a game-changer. Working together can lead to great things and I am confident that this collaboration will play a crucial role in helping the industry grow in strength and stature internationally.”

READ MORE: Scotch whisky sector hope as exports slide slows

SWA chief executive David Frost said: “Scotch whisky is exported to almost 200 countries, generating around £4bn a year. We want to help Scottish food and drink sectors learn from the success of Scotch – the country’s leading single product export – and this new collaboration shows our commitment to working with food and drink exporters to deliver growth for Scotland.”

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink added: “Our export ambition is clear; to sell a broader range of products in a broader range of markets. New food and drink trade specialists, working through SDI, are now in place in ten cities around the globe.

“However, the spirit of partnership and collaboration being shown by the whisky industry will bring crucial new expertise and experience to our activity in the coming years.”

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