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Scotland Food & Drink boss Iain Baxter

Exports of Scottish food and drink products reached a record export value of £8bn in 2022, according to the latest figures released by HMRC.

The export value of Scottish food and drink products rose by £1.9bn compared to 2021, an increase of 30.6%, pushing the value beyond pre-Covid levels. The figures were driven by strong growth, mainly in whisky.

Despite all the challenges the industry faced last year, Scottish food exports are 8.1% above the 2019 pre-Covid peak. For comparison, the rest of the UK remains at -1% on 2019.

Scotch whisky exports grew by 37.2% compared to the previous year – growth of £1.7bn. The increased value comes largely from Asia and Oceania – Singapore, India and Taiwan in particular – but the US is still the biggest foreign market for whisky.

Scotland Food & Drink boss Iain Baxter is a member of both the Scottish Government’s Ministerial Trade Board and the UK Government’s Food and Drink Export Council. He said the figures showed “the breadth of the Scottish basket and the success we are seeing in overseas markets with sectors such cereals and meat securing significant export growth”.

Baxter added: “Very few countries have the breadth of produce that Scotland offers, and we must continue to capitalise on the strength of our biggest sectors to help the smaller ones grow. Our new industry strategy, which will be published shortly, will seek to build on this success and accelerate our growth.”

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The statistics show food exports have risen to an all-time high of £1.9 billion – up 12.8% on 2021 – which is a fantastic achievement for our food sector, complementing another strong year for our drinks sector.”