Scotland’s food and drink sector generated a record £14.3 billion turnover in 2013, according to Scottish Government analysis.
Food and drink manufacturing – which accounts for about three quarters of the total turnover figure – has grown twice as fast since 2008 as food and drink manufacturing in the UK as a whole.
The sector is now on track to meet the industry's turnover target of £16.5 billion by 2017, Food Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced.
Spectacular Scottish success story
Speaking on a visit to the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group in Bellshill, he said: "Our food and drink growth sector is a spectacular Scottish success story with turnover reaching a record high in 2013. To surpass £14 billion for the first time is simply outstanding and must give the sector real confidence.
"Our country is blessed with fantastic natural resources and this industry – with its strong brand and talented people - is Scotland's jewel in the crown. I am committed to seeing it thrive and flourish which is why the Scottish Government and our agencies are working closely with industry to achieve its ambitious targets, which have previously been smashed years ahead of schedule."
Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive James Withers added: “Breaking £14 billion for the first time is a hugely important milestone. Behind that huge figure lies individual success stories with food and drink business both large and small thriving in domestic market and international markets.
"This success is a direct outcome of the collaboration we've developed in Scotland with different organisations, government and individual companies working collectively. It has been a game-changer and has built a national identity for Scottish food and drink, driving growth at twice the rate of the UK average."
The sector generated a turnover of approximately £14.3 billion in 2013, up 4.0% from the revised 2012 estimate of £13.8 billion. Food and drink manufacturing continues to account for a large share of the food and drink growth sector's turnover (74%) and GVA (74%).
International Milan Expo
The record-breaking figures have been published the day before Food Secretary travels to Italy to promote Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink at the prestigious international Milan Expo.
Mr Lochhead added: “The Milan Expo is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors, making it the ideal platform to showcase Scotland during our Year of Food and Drink. During my visit I will be promoting Scotland’s outstanding natural larder which is already in high demand across the globe for its exceptional quality and unrivalled provenance.”
Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland said: "This is fantastic news and most appropriate as Scotland celebrates its outstanding natural larder during the Year of Food and Drink. Scotland is renowned the world over for its quality produce which is no doubt why sampling our traditional dishes and local delicacies continues to be a top visitor activity. The Milan Expo serves up an exciting opportunity to promote the breadth and depth of our delicious destinations on a global stage, with a selection of our popular foodie trails – which encourage visitors to embark on their own culinary adventures in Scotland – on show."