The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has welcomed a new strategy by the Scottish food and drink sector that aims to double the size of the total industry to £30 billion by 2030.
The vision, titled Ambition 30, has been developed by the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership, an industry-led partnership of the main organisations in the farming, fishing, food and drink sector, alongside the Scottish Government and its key agencies. It aims to cement food and drink as Scotland’s most valuable industry.
“Scottish food and drink is of significant importance to the country’s economic and export performance, with Scotch Whisky playing a leading role in growing the industry further,” said Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive.
“The new strategy will ensure that the whole sector will become even more substantial in years to come. And we’re confident Scotch Whisky – which accounts for around three quarters of Scottish food and drink exports – will remain the biggest contributor to the sector.
“We are committed to helping others grow their businesses, for example through our Export Collaboration Charter with Scotland Food and Drink. Our award-winning Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy can also provide a blueprint in helping the entire sector achieve its sustainability aims.”
Ambition 30 focuses on three key areas: raising attractiveness of the industry as a career destination; ensuring producers, manufacturers and buyers work in closer partnership; and embracing the culture of developing new products and processes to drive growth.
Key to this growth is a boost in international exports, according to the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership, which says the whisky sector has already shown the way – with 40 bottles of whisky exported every single second. Indeed, last year Scotch whisky recorded its ‘best year’ for exports since 2013.
The industry body plans to “learn from their approaches” and refine the existing export plan to “help other food and drink sectors export a broader range of products to a broader range of markets”.