You are currently viewing Cereal success: Scotland ‘continues to punch above its weight’ with UK food exports

Food and drink exports from England totalled £10.2bn in 2021, down 9% from 2020, and 15% lower than in 2019.

Scotland accounted for the lion’s share in 2021, while the northeast saw the largest increase – a 20.4% rise from 2020. Wales is the only nation to exceed pre-COVID export levels with £558m of exports in 2021, 13% higher than in 2019.

The FDF’s 2021 UK Food and Drink Exports report also reveals the cereal sector has recorded strong exports, with Wales showing a 173% increase since 2020, and Scotland up by 2.2%.

Scotland’s food and drink exports were up 15% in 2021 to £5.7bn, recovering significant lost ground, but still down on pre-COVID levels.

Scotland exports 1

Credit: Food & Drink Federation

“Scotland continues to punch above its weight – accounting for the largest share of UK food and drink exports – with an impressive 30% of total exports,”​ said David Thomson, FDF Scotland’s CEO.

“It’s heartening to see an increase in Scotland’s food and drink exports as the industry begins to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit. We hope that new opportunities will help further increase sales of Scotland’s food and drink abroad.

“We will continue to work with Scottish and UK governments and partners from across the food chain to support the recovery and growth of our vital industry.”

Key findings

Scotland accounts for 30% of the UK’s F&B exports – worth £5.7bn in 20202, up 15% from 2020.

France has usurped the US as Scotland’s largest export partner with exports now worth more than £1bn.

Exports to China nearly doubled in 2021 to nearly £225m, making up 4% of Scotland’s F&B exports.