The Scottish government is looking to double the country’s overseas turnover by 2030, bringing it to a total of £30 billion. This will be the second phase of their Food and Drink Export Plan, the first phase of which has already been completed.
The plan is being supported by joint funding from the government, industry, and enterprise agency Scottish Development International. Respectively, each is putting in £2.7 million, £900,000, and £900,000. The second phase will take the plan from 2019 all the way through to 2024.
Scottish companies will be offered the funding as a means to take their products overseas to new markets, with support also offered by in-market specialists to offer expert advice. They will be assisting the companies in forging relationships with buyers as well as encourage the development of new products.
Fergus Ewing is the Rural Economy Secretary. He said that last year’s exports of £6.3 billion, a record level, was achieve with the help of the first phase of the export plan.
“This is a hugely exciting time for the sector and I’m confident that the Government and industry will continue to work together successfully to identify new opportunities for Scotland, with the clear strategy set out by this latest plan,” he said. “The need to explore and exploit international markets could not be clearer, given the current uncertainty around our future trading relationship with Europe – our single largest market, which is eight times larger than the UK market alone.”
It is clear that there will be potential for companies to expand using the funding, potentially creating their own new teams for specialisation in overseas trade. You can read our advice to candidates here, but in general, the ability to speak a second language is going to be very beneficial for anyone considering these positions.
Travel is likely to be involved in the roles, as well as the ability to take conference calls at times of day or night that are more convenient for potential clients – and these types of roles can be very demanding. The rewards, however, can be substantial.
Potential for game changing
James Withers is the Food Drink Scotland Chief Executive. He said that the development of this long-term plan, as well as the implementation of global team of trade specialists, has the potential to be a game changing investment for the whole of Scotland – and has also been a driving force already.
“Industry and Government have come together to share funding and we now have more international customers than ever before wanting to do business with Scottish food and drink producers,” he said. “Our ambition is to double the size of our industry to £30 billion by 2030 and this next export plan will be crucial to unlocking our full potential.”
If you are looking for food jobs in Scotland, be sure to check the information about them in our listings here.
Food and drink exports across the UK were worth a record £5.7 billion in the first quarter of 2019. These figures come courtesy of the Department for International Trade.