Scotland has a vibrant food and drink manufacturing industry - companies in the sector range from thriving small businesses through to major global brands. These companies provide their local communities with a wide variety of careers and are a vital part of the Scottish economy.

Scotland always had a strong success story in exporting our food and drink. However the industry's exports success suffered a great deal due to the supply chain problems caused by COVID and the new UK-EU trading relationship. Our UK Food and Drink Exports report shows in 2021 Scotland's food and drink exports had a strong recovery from those challenges. We punch well above our weight for such a small nation, almost 30% of all UK food and drink exports come from Scotland.

Food and drink is Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector and is an important part of a diverse and complex supply chain.

Our statistics at a glance below highlight the economic importance of the Scottish food and drink manufacturing industry.


  • We employ 47,000 people, 26% of the Scottish manufacturing workforce.
  • Our gross value added to the economy is £3.6 billion, 28% of Scottish manufacturing value added.
  • We have 1,185 food and drink manufacturing businesses.
  • Our industry has a turnover of £10.4 billion, accounting for 30% of total Scottish manufacturing.
  • In 2021 food and drink exports increased by 12% to £5.9 billion.
  • 95% of our businesses are SMEs.
  • We are Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 30% of total manufacturing turnover.
  • Scottish food and drink manufacturing will need 6,700 new recruits between 2021-2031.
  • Food and drink manufacturing accounts for 70% of Scotland’s full supply chain turnover and 38% of the number of people it employs.

Trade statistics

The FDF publishes quarterly export statistical reports, outlining the latest UK food and drink export figures. As the sector focuses on growing exports, the FDF showcases the success of our industry via case studies.

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FDF UK Food and drink exports report

The FDF’s new UK Food and Drink Exports report reveals the latest breakdown of food and drink exports from across the UK during 2021.



Our reports and publications provide detailed insight in to our key areas of policy focus. They include contributions from our in-house experts, as well as contributions from members and other key stakeholders.


Prices Dashboard - July 2022

The Prices Dashboard tracks prices of UK food and non-alcoholic drink, as well as prices of agricultural commodities, energy, transportation and packaging.

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Double-digit food and drink inflation

Food and non-alcoholic drink inflation jumped to 12.7% in July compared to July 2021, up from 9.8% in June.

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Fastest drop in real incomes in 20 years

The labour market remained hot in Q2, with conditions fairly similar to those in Q1, although some developments might warn of an economic slowdown ahead.

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Price of food staples to soar into 2023

Karen Betts has told PoliticsHome that massive hikes in production costs had already forced companies to raise food prices and shopping bills will continue growing into early next year.

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