French fancy for Scottish food and drink

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 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.

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