Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP has revealed that Scottish food and drink exports increased by £421 million (8%) in 2016 to a record £5,500 million helped by rising seafood and whisky sales.
Whisky exports alone were worth £4,000 million, a 4% leap from 2015.
Exports to EU countries were worth £2,300 million, up £133 milion. Mr Ewing said:
"Our produce has an excellent reputation around the world and it’s clear the industry is going from strength to strength. The increased collaboration between industry and the SNP Government's Food and Drink Export Plan are helping this by identifying opportunities to support businesses and breaking down barriers to trade”.
Kenneth Gibson added:
"These figures are heartening and show the importance of work being carried out by the SNP Government to boost food and drink exports and retaining access to European markets.
"I have only one distillery in my constituency, in Lochranza. However the Isle of Arran Distillery is ambitious and last month broke ground on the site of a new distillery in Lagg.
"This £10 million investment will raise capacity to 1.2 million litres a year, include a visitor centre and create 11 new jobs, two of them apprenticeships when production begins next year. Meanwhile, Lochranza has just completed a £1 investment, with two new stills, capacity increased from 500,000 to 700,000 litres and a major upgrade of its visitor centre.
"With such ambition and partnership working, Scotland's food and drink industry will play an increasingly important role in Scotland's future prosperity."