Scottish food and drink chiefs visit Asia

REPRESENTATIVES from the Scottish food and drink industry will visit Japan and China this week.

Last year Scottish food and drink exports to Asia reached a record high of more than £1 billion.

Exports to Japan increased by 25 per cent year-on-year to £91 million last year.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead will lead the industry delegation of 17 top Scottish food and drink companies as part of a joint initiative between Scottish Development International (SDI) and Scotland Food and Drink (SF&D).

Within the group are representatives from three major dairy companies – the first Scottish dairy contingent ever to visit China. This market, such as specialist cheese and butter, offers extensive opportunities for Scottish producers to tap into.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Lochhead said: “The food and drink sector is one of our greatest assets and this trade visit provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the very best of Scottish produce in two key growth markets. I hope this mission will help boost some of Scotland’s household names to be global food and drink brands on the world stage.

“Last year, the First Minister launched the Scotland Food and Drink industry strategy in Beijing – this visit is another important step in driving that work forward.”

Between 2007 and 2011, food and drink exports to Japan and China have increased by 87 per cent to £183 million.  

Scotland’s new export target for 2017 is £7.1 billion.

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