Scottish food and drink a success in France

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish food and drink is proving popular in France
Scottish food and drink is proving popular in France

Related tags Drink exports Scotch whisky

Scottish food and drink exports to France have grown in value by £21M over the past year to a whopping £703M, according to the Scottish government.

Exports to France have increased by 50% since 2007, making it the second biggest market for Scottish produce after the US.

Food exports to France alone were valued at £268M – increasing 7.9% from £248M in 2012.

Scotland’s food secretary, Richard Lochhead, said it came as no surprise that demand for Scottish products were booming.

‘Unique cultural identity’

“We have a fantastic natural larder here in Scotland, iconic brands with a strong global presence, excellent provenance credentials and industry innovation,”​ he said.

“Our food and drink products are among the best to found anywhere in the world – they are intrinsic to our nation’s unique cultural identity and I am delighted that so many people across the globe are enjoying what we have to offer.”

However, Lochhead claimed Scotland was still only scratching the surface”​ of the global potential for food and drink exports.

“In March this year I announced our support for the new Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan, including £4.5M investment in various activities to drive forward Scotland’s food and drink exports over a five year period,”​ he added.

“As a nation we are working towards becoming a good food nation as we encourage the production and uptake of locally-sourced ethical produce across the country to increase.”

Scotland has experienced a surge in food and drink exports in recent years, rocketing 51% from £3.7bn to £5.3bn between 2007 and 2013.

This beat the government’s target of reaching £5.1bn by 2017 five years early.

Exports sank

Total food and drink exports climbed by 4.8% to reach £6.5bn in the first half of this year, but scotch exports sank​ by 11% to £1.79bn over the same period.

French drinks Remy Cointreau purchased the Bruichladdich Distillery Company in 2012, marking the group’s first move into the premium single malt Scotch market.

Since purchasing Bruichladdich, Remy Cointreau have introduced plans to significantly increase production at the site on Islay for both single malt and gin production – having already increased malt whisky production from 1Ml a year to 2Ml.

Meanwhile, last month’s Ryder Cup provided a “perfect platform”​ to showcase Scottish food and drink​ to more than 45,000 visitors from 75 countries on each day of the three-day golf tournament, Lochhead claimed.

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