SCOTLAND’S economy looks set to benefit from the country’s booming food and drinks industry, with a jobs boost of almost 6000 expected by 2018.
According to research by Bank of Scotland (BoS), more than 5,600 extra jobs could be created in the industry, with investment from companies in new export markets the catalyst.
The research drew on input from over 100 firms, with an estimated combined turnover of £6 billion, and suggested the sector could “significantly exceed” an industry target of achieving annual turnover of £12.5bn by 2017.
Two-thirds of those companies say they expect to increase their workforce in the next five years.
Between the companies surveyed, respondents were confident of creating at least new 940 jobs between them over that period, with BoS saying if that was replicated across the sector more than 5,600 additional jobs would be created.
And the survey showed a significant shift in locations where Scottish food and drink companies were setting their international sights, with almost two-thirds naming the Far East/Asia as their key focus.
That focus replaces exports to Western Europe at the top of the list of target markets, where countries like Brazil and others in South America are also said to be emerging.