Food and drink sector could create 14,000 new jobs by 2020

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 27 August 2015 in News

Bank of Scotland report predicts 14,000 new jobs in the food and drink sector over the next five years

Around 14,000 new jobs could be created in the food and drink sector over the next five years, according to a new report by Bank of Scotland.

The Bank of Scotland Fresh Opportunity and Growth report found producers forecast an average turnover growth of 19 per cent by 2020.

It found 62 per cent of Scottish food and drink businesses are planning to develop new products, while 62 per cent plan to engage with new international customers in the next five years.


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Meanwhile 78 per cent believe they have benefited from Scottish produce’s reputation overseas.

The report identifies a number of challenges, with 30 per cent of respondents identifying regulation and compliance as an obstacle, 34 per cent pointing to concerns over a potential EU exit, and 42 per cent saying rising labour costs were a problem.

Graham Blair, area director, Scotland, head of food and drink, said:  “Scottish food and drink manufacturers of all sizes are making ambitious plans for significant growth, cementing the sector as one of Scotland’s key economic contributors.

“Collaboration is high on the agenda for firms looking to invest in R&D over the next five years, a positive sign that the industry can continue to build on its already strong reputation for more traditional Scottish food and drink produce, while exploring exciting new products and ventures."

James Withers, chief executive at industry body Scotland Food & Drink, said: “One of the most important catalysts for Scotland’s remarkable food and drink growth in recent years has been the development of a new culture of collaboration. Different sectors, from seafood to red meat to whisky, now work together to build our national reputation. 

“So too individual businesses work together and we have a public sector responding to industry leadership.  Competition is healthy but collaboration opens up new markets and relationships.  It has been crucial to taking our industry from static growth just a few years ago to its current position as Scotland’s best performing sector.”

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