Food and drink sector hits £14.4bn annual turnover

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Annual turnover in the food and drink industry reached £14.4 billion in 2014, figures show.

The Scottish Government said the food manufacturing sector increased by 43% in Scotland from 2008 to 2014; growth at twice the rate of the UK average.

Ministers said the figures - released at the start of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight - show the sector is making good progress towards meeting the 2017 target of £16.5 billion, set by the industry.

The food and drink industry has been identified as one of the growth sectors in which Scotland can build on its existing strengths and increase productivity and growth.

The industry spans the activities of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture, food manufacturing and drink manufacturing.

The newly-published data is contained in a briefing from the office of the chief economic adviser and is published on the Scottish Government website.

It states: "Turnover in the food and drink growth sector stood at £14.4 billion in 2014, up from £14.0 billion in 2013 - representing an increase of 2.8% over the year (nominal terms).

"Gross Value Added in the food and drink growth sector stood at £5.3 billion in 2014, up by 5.1% on 2013 (nominal terms)."

Scotland Food and Drink chief executive James Withers said: "These are great figures and testament to a transformation in food and drink activity in Scotland over the last few years.

"The sector is not without challenges and uncertainty, but for a sector whose growth was stagnant a few years ago, this has been a major turnaround.

"The Scottish industry is now being recognised internationally for how it has embraced collaboration to grow, forging a stronger global reputation for our products."

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "The food and drink sector continues to be one of our most successful and that success shows no sign of slowing down.

"The industry is vital to Scotland - it creates jobs and wealth, impacts on health and sustainability, and helps attract people to the country by promoting our food and drink around the globe.

"This record turnover means that the sector is making good progress towards meeting the 2017 target of £16.5 billion, which has been set by Scotland Food and Drink."

Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight runs until September 18.