Over 5600 jobs could be created in Scotland’s booming food and drinks sector, a report has claimed.
A Bank of Scotland study, An Appetite for Growth: Ambition and Opportunity for Scotland’s food and drink industry, surveyed a broad cross section of over 100 Scottish food and drink businesses with an estimated aggregate turnover of £6 billion. The results help to cement the industry’s position as one of Scotland’s fastest-growing sectors.
The report found that more than two-thirds of companies surveyed expect to increase their workforce in the next five years as the sector continues to look to outpace the wider economy.
Alasdair Gardner, Managing Director of Commercial Banking at Bank of Scotland said: “Scotland’s food and drink sector already makes a tremendous contribution to Scotland’s economy and these results show that will only increase over the coming of years.
“The creation of more than 5,600 jobs will be a very welcome boost to communities across Scotland as economic recovery continues.
“This is our second annual market survey on Scotland’s Food and Drink sector and following the opportunities we identified in last year’s survey, I’m delighted to see that overall confidence levels remain high and the sector is pushing ahead delivering record growth. The reality is that if this level of growth continues we will see levels of growth in the food and drink industry that could soon be alongside oil and gas on the export market.
“Scotland produces a fantastic array of food and drink products and this reputation for world class quality is enabling Scottish businesses to tap into the huge enthusiasm among global consumers for provenance. These are exciting times for the industry and Bank of Scotland stands ready to support companies with their growth plans whether those be here in Scotland or taking their products in to the US, China or South America.”
Trade body Scotland Food & Drink said: “The food and drink industry has been Scotland’s best performing domestic sector in the past five years and its fastest growing export sector. 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. Achieving this level of growth will not only represent success for the industry but also for Scotland with the potential to create thousands of new jobs.
“The hosting of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and second Scottish Homecoming next year will provide an unprecedented opportunity for the industry to play to its strengths. But 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.”