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 - May 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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Food inflation the biggest contributor to the change in May’s inflation

Food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose at an accelerated pace for the tenth consecutive month in May, with year-on-year inflation hitting 8.7%, up from 6.7% in April. This is the highest rate of inflation since March 2009.

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The FDF responded to latest inflation figures

Food and drink prices have risen for the tenth consecutive month. Inflation has reached 8.7% and this is the highest rise since March 2009. Our CEO Karen Betts gives her views on the figures

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Food and drink employment on the rise

Data released today show that employment in the food and drink industry continued to rise in Q1 2022, with the industry gaining 7,000 jobs since the previous quarter.

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