New £1.1bn record for Scottish food exports

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SCOTTISH food exports have surpassed the £1.1 billion mark for the first time, new figures for the industry showed.

The total food and drink exports were valued at £5.1 billion in 2014, according to the statistics that have been extracted from HM Revenue and Customs findings.

Food exports grew by 3.5 per cent on 2013, driven primarily by an increase in fish and seafood, which was up by £38m.

Scotland’s cabinet secretary for food Richard Lochhead, said the sector had made key progress with exports to China, Asia and Africa.

He said: “These figures are extremely encouraging, particularly long-term, and reflective of the fantastic produce we have to offer here in Scotland.

“We are now seeing a rise in the popularity of Scottish produce in emerging markets – in China for example, we’ve witnessed a massive increase of 82 per cent in food exports, with overall value now up to £46m, evidence that the Chinese appreciate great Scottish seafood and meat.

“Our fish and seafood exports have soared, with sales hitting £613m – up 6.6 per cent on 2013 – due to an increase in exports to Asia and Oceania, the EU and Sub-Saharan Africa.”