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19/10/14 10:53

French fancy for Scottish food and drink

Lochhead meets with Remy Cointreau Group.

France has proved it has a fancy for quality Scottish produce with latest figures valuing food and drink exports to the country at £703 million in 2013 – up more than 50 per cent since 2007, and £21 million on the previous year.

Food exports alone were valued at £268 million, making France Scotland’s top overseas export market for food and second only to the United States in the whisky market and food and drink exports overall.

The figures come as Scotland’s Food Secretary Richard Lochhead meets with Christian Liabastre of French drinks company Remy Cointreau Group in Paris today to welcome their vote of confidence in the Scotch Whisky industry and discuss potential for future investments in Scotland.

Speaking from Paris on the eve of attending SIAL, one of the world’s largest food and drink trade shows, Mr Lochhead said:

“It comes as no surprise that demand for quality Scottish produce in France is booming. We have a fantastic natural larder here in Scotland, iconic brands with a strong global presence, excellent provenance credentials and industry innovation.

“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.

“Scotland has experienced a surge in Food and Drink exports in recent years, rocketing 51 per cent from £3.7bn to £5.3bn between 2007 and 2013, smashing our target of reaching £5.1bn by 2017 five years early.

“We are still only scratching the surface of the vast global potential for Scottish 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.

“And 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.

“I warmly welcome Remy Cointreau Group to the Scottish Whisky Industry and look forward to finding out what plans the company may have for its future in Scotland.”

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 one million litres per annum to two million litres p.a.

Mr Lochhead is currently in Paris meeting with Scottish exhibitors at the SIAL food trade exhibition.

Notes to editors

Background

SIAL is one of the largest food and beverage fairs in the world, taking place in Paris from 19-23 October 2014. It is also the food and drink sector’s most important fair for new markets and target groups. It will feature more than 6,000 exhibitors from 100 countries, with around 150,000 trade visitors.

The Scottish Government’s next phase of its National Food and Drink Policy: Becoming a Good Food Nation is currently underway, with people from across the country being invited to submit their views on the proposal by visiting http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/06/1195/10. The formal deadline for submissions was Friday October 17, however all replies received before the end of the month will still be taken into account.

Scotland’s Food and Drink Export Plan was launched in March 2014, with aims to build Scotland’s international reputation as a ‘Land of Food and Drink’ by targeting specific market opportunities across the globe.

The Scottish Government and Scottish Development International (SDI) as well as Scotland Food & Drink have been brought together with key trade bodies: Quality Meat Scotland, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Scottish Bakers, Scotch Whisky Association, Dairy UK and Seafood Scotland. The groups will share their collective expertise to provide unprecedented specialist support for the whole industry on a scale that has never been experienced before.

More information on the plan can be found here: http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/knowledge-hub/articles/insight/export-plan-for-scotlands-food-and-drink-industry