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Scots bid to double food & drink industry to £30bn

The government says it wants to 'strike the right balance' between the benefits of the aquaculture industry while managing potential environmental impacts.
The government says it wants to 'strike the right balance' between the benefits of the aquaculture industry while managing potential environmental impacts.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will this afternoon join industry leaders to launch a strategy to drive growth in the fishing, farming, food and drink sector.  

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Ambition 2030, developed by industry body Scotland Food & Drink and partners – including the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Seafood Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise – sets out a blueprint to make food and drink Scotland’s most valuable industry by more than doubling turnover to £30 billion by 2030.

Earlier this month, Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing said aquaculture in Scotland has the potential to contribute £3.6bn annually to the Scottish economy, supporting 18,000 jobs across the supply chain by 2030.

James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink chief executive, said: “Ten years ago, when the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership was formed, our sector was relatively static. It is now one of the country’s best performing industries and it’s our fastest growing export sector. However, today sets out a new vision to build further on that.

Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing said aquaculture can contribute £3.6bn a year to Scotland's economy by 2030. 
Rural Economy minister Fergus Ewing said aquaculture can contribute £3.6bn a year to Scotland's economy by 2030. 

'Skills, innovation and supply chains'

“As an industry, we have identified an opportunity to more than double the size of our sector to £30 billion by 2030, making it Scotland’s most valuable industry. A huge amount of work is required to unlock that potential and it will not come easily. There is uncertainty ahead, with Brexit in the forefront of everybody’s mind. Whilst big political upheavals are out of the industry’s control, we can control how we develop the Scottish brand, the markets we want to sell to and the investments we make in improving skills, innovation and supply chains.

“Food and drink is now a national success story for Scotland, yet there are areas requiring more work. Too few view our industry as a top career choice, many farmers feel detached from the success story and we can do more to support improvements in Scotland’s health.

“The focus we now place on all of that means we approach the coming years with real optimism. It will take a huge amount of dedication from industry, government and its agencies, but working collaboratively, there is every reason we can make Scotland the best place in the world to run a food and drink business.

To unlock the £30bn potential of the industry, Ambition 2030 the strategy focuses on three areas:

People and Skills - raising attractiveness of the industry as a career destination and investing in the existing workforce;

Supply Chain - ensuring farmers, fishermen, manufacturers and buyers work in closer partnership, to ensure greater profitability is shared across the industry;

Innovation - embracing a new culture of developing new products and processes to drive growth.

The strategy identifies collaboration as the most important ingredient in the sector’s success to date with plans to deepen joint-working between the industry, government and its agencies in the coming years, as well as to make support easier to access for businesses.

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