Showcasing Scotland event generated potential £77m for food and drink producers

Showcasing Scotland, a global food and drink trade event, has generated a potential £77 million in sales of Scottish food and drink to markets around the world.

Showcasing Scotland, a global food and drink trade event, has generated a potential £77 million in sales of Scottish food and drink to markets around the world.

Food and drink are one of Scotland’s largest global exports, worth £8.1 billion annually to the Scottish economy. They have also been highlighted as key areas for driving the £4 billion growth target of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s national industry strategy, ‘Sustaining Scotland. Supplying the World’.

Held in Edinburgh from 5th to 7th March 2024, Showcasing Scotland was hosted by Scotland Food & Drink on behalf of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership with support from the Scottish Government.

Opening new doors  

The event welcomed over 100 of the world’s most influential food and drink buyers to conduct 1,822 official meetings with over 100 Scottish exporting or export-ready food and drink businesses.

92% of the Scottish producers attending Showcasing Scotland reported that the event opened new doors for their businesses.

The suppliers also identified the biggest export opportunities in Asia, North America, Europe, and the rest of the UK.

Showcasing Scotland 2024 brought together buyers from the rest of the UK and 22 countries, including China, United Arab Emirates, USA, South Korea, France, and Japan, for a series of speed-dating-style meetings and sector-focused tours.

More than 90% of buyers said that they were most impressed by the quality of the products on show.

First-hand experience  

Ahead of the one-to-one business meetings, international and UK buyers attended immersive sector tours to gain first-hand experience of the production process, heritage and innovation across all sectors of the industry.  

The producers attending the event were all selected for their scalability and were supported in the run-up to the event to get ready for scaling their operations and serving overseas markets through Scotland Food & Drink’s Supplier Support Programme, powered by The Academy.  

Massive success story  

Iain Baxter, chief executive at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Adding £77 million to the pipeline of Scottish food and drink producers is an incredible result by any measure. We have a global reputation for the quality and variety of our food and drink, demonstrated by the buyers’ desire to buy more from us.   

“We welcomed so many inspirational people from across the world, fostering new commercial links, and friendships that should pay dividends for some of Scotland’s best and most innovative producers.”  

Delegates were welcomed to the event by first minister, Humza Yousaf, who said: “Our food and drink sector is a massive success story – it adds around £15 billion each year to our economy, with more than 17,000 businesses employing almost 130,000 people.  

“I want to see this sector growing in the years to come, and events like Showcasing Scotland are absolutely vital in helping to spread Scotland’s finest produce across the globe.   

“I look forward to continuing our engagement with the Scottish food and drink sector and hope all those who travelled from far and wide enjoyed their time in Edinburgh.”   

Buzz and excitement  

Reuben Aitken, managing director of International Operations at Scottish Enterprise, added that the “buzz and excitement” generated during the event was fantastic to see and hear, with over 1,800 meetings taking place.   

He said: “Our food and drink businesses successfully promoted the outstanding quality and provenance of Scottish produce, and we’ll now focus on helping them secure sales and grow their international revenue.”  

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