Increase for Scottish meat exports
New figures released by the Scottish Government have revealed that 2016 was a record year for Scotland’s food and drink exports, with meat exports having enjoyed an impressive 11% increase, buoyed by a series of initiatives by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
Food and drink exports from the country jumped by £421 million in 2016 to a record £5.5 billion, accounting for an 8% increase in Scotland’s total value of exports, while food exports alone saw a 22% increase to £1.5 billion in the same year.
Meat exports, in particular, increased to £72 million, with 90% of the products having been shipped to Europe. Exports of Scottish red meat to Germany rose by 23% during last year, while exports to Nordic, Baltic and numerous central and eastern European countries increased by 19%, 197% and 444% respectively.
The figures have confirmed that efforts by public body QMS, aiming at raising the profile of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands at key European markets, paid off, as France and Benelux represented 67.8% of beef and lamb exports from Scotland. QMS had a major presence at SIAL, the international food exhibition, in Paris last year, in addition to promoting the brands at major export markets, such as Sweden and Denmark.
QMS head of marketing, Laurent Vernet, noted: “The export figures published by the Scottish Government are encouraging and show there are still substantial opportunities for the Scottish red meat industry to develop and grow business inside and outside of the EU.”
In the meantime, exports outside of the EU accounted for 5.4% of Scotland’s red meat exports, with South Africa, Hong Kong and Thailand being the industry’s biggest importers.