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Jobs in Scottish food and drink sector to soar

Jobs in Scottish food and drink sector to soar

Scotland's food and drink sector is set to create another 5,600 jobs over the course of the next five years, according to research from the Bank of Scotland.

The bank's Appetite for Growth report, has suggested that a number of food and drink exporters will  be looking to expand into new markets, particularly in Asia and South America.

Over 100 companies were surveyed as part of the research, with 40 per cent of those revealing that they are considering the possibility of increasing their sales abroad.

Industry body Scotland Food and Drink is hoping that exports within the industry can increase from the £5.31 billion recorded last year to reach £7.1 billion by the year 2017.

Of all the companies not looking to increase their exports, one of the main reasons was due to lack of resources, as well as logistical challenges.

James Withers, chief ­executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said he hoped the industry would build on the success of recent years, while also taking advantage of the opportunities from the arrvial of sporting events such as the Ryder Cup and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  

He said: "Ambitious sales and export targets are in place for 2017, but the rapid progress so far means we are having to upscale our ambitions already.

"The legacy opportunity beyond 2014 could be worth much more as many thousands of visitors return home with a taste for Scottish produce and hundreds of millions of television viewers are left with a positive image of what Scotland has to offer."

There are already a number of industries within the food and drink sector that have already been singled out for praise, including the country's whisky producers.

The Scotch Whisky Association recently released figures showing that the value of exports for the first half of the year had increased by 11 per cent to £1,987 billion, with volumes up by nine per cent.

Scottish salmon was also praised for its good performance, with shipments to China having increased by 1,000 per cent over the past two years.


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