Overseas exports of Scottish food and drink reached the highest figure on record in 2022, new statistics show.
Scotland’s overseas exports were worth £8.1 billion in 2022, according to HMRC’s regional trade figures.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon welcomed the record-breaking figures, which show exports in food and drink increased by 30.6% on the previous year.
Food exports on their own have also hit an all-time high, totalling £1.9bn in 2022, an increase of 12.8%.
Excluding oil and gas, the value of Scotland’s exports increased by 20.5% in 2022 compared with the previous year.
Across the UK, the increase was just 13.3% on value of exports.
The data also showed the EU market was worth £9.4bn to Scottish trade.
Ms Gougeon said: “It is hugely welcome to see Scotland’s food and drink exports were worth a record £8.1 billion in 2022, up by almost a third (30.6%) on the previous year.
“This is testament to the quality, innovation and skill shown by everyone working in the industry across the length and breadth of Scotland.”
She added: “The food and drink industry is vital to Scotland. It creates jobs, wealth and helps attract people to the country by promoting our produce around the globe.
“The Scottish Government has long supported the sector – particularly through the various challenges of the last few years caused by Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine and rising inflation.
“We have worked with industry to strengthen and unlock markets across the globe for Scottish producers through the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan.”
Scottish salmon is the UK’s largest single food export. Fresh, whole Scottish salmon exports brought in £578 million, the figures revealed, which was down 6% compared to 2021.
Tavish Scott, chief executive of industry group Salmon Scotland, said that “despite a series of economic challenges last year” farmers had “continued to meet international demand for the UK’s most popular food export”.
“This is a phenomenal success story that we can all be very proud of, supporting thousands of jobs in remote areas of the country and contributing hundreds of millions of pounds towards public services,” he said.
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