Bank of Scotland forecasts Scottish food and drinks boom

Scotland’s £12bn food and drinks businesses could be set to boom, as new research from the Bank of Scotland revealed a potential boost in investment.

It has been predicted industry leaders will create new jobs in the next five years in a bid to better target export markets.

The research from the Bank of Scotland, entitled ‘An Appetite for Growth: Ambition and Opportunity for Scotland’s food and drink industry’, surveyed a cross-section of more than 100 Scottish food and drink businesses.

It is expected that the industry will see 19% growth in the next five years, as the companies in the survey reported a desire to expand.

Around two-thirds of the companies in the survey said they expected to increase staffing levels in the next five years. At least 940 jobs will be created between the respondents, which, if applied to the wider food and drink sector, could result in 5,600 new jobs created in the sector.

The five-year increase has also indicated that the industry could exceed its target of £12.5bn in turnover by 2017.

James Withers, chief executive of the trade body Scotland Food and Drink, said the industry had been the country’s best-performing sector in the last five years and was also the fastest-growing.

He added: “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.”

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.”


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