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Scottish Food and Drink exports continue to grow

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Exports of Scottish food and drink continued to increase in the first quarter of 2017 but meat exports fell back slightly year on year.

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Scottish Food and Drink exports continue to grow

The growth was fuelled by increased Scotch whisky and seafood exports which were up by £79m and £49m.

In the agricultural sector, dairy and egg exports saw growth of 40.4 per cent but the value of meat, live animals and fruit and vegetable exports all fell.

 

Food and drink exports were worth £1.2bn in the first quarter, an increase of £124m on 2016.

 

Brexit

Rural secretary Fergus Ewing said the figures showed maintaining access to the EU single market was ‘crucial’ for food and drink producers and the Scottish economy.

 

“Losing access will put Scottish industry at a significant disadvantage, exposing business to damaging export tariff barriers and regulatory requirements,” he said.

 

“Scotch Whisky and Scottish Salmon were the top two UK export products by value in the first quarter of 2017, making up 22% of the value of total food and drink exports from the UK.

 

“The Prime Minister must include the Scottish Government at the Brexit negotiating table, with the starting point for any new approach the continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.”

 

James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink chief executive, added: "Europe remains our biggest market as the destination for 70 per cent of food exports.

 

Access

 

“Ongoing, smooth access to that market will be critical for our sector's future. However, we are strongly committed to extending our global footprint well beyond Europe, something that the Scotch Whisky industry had led the way on.

 

“So it's very encouraging to see such strong growth in Asia and North America, with rises of 50% to 70% in the value of food sales in those markets so far this year.”

 

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