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Scotland’s £13bn Food & Drink Industry Embarks on First Trade Mission to India

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will lead Scotland’s first ever food and drink delegation to India from 24 to 28 November 2013 to explore opportunities to increase trade between the two nations and grow exports of the country’s finest produce, Crawford Gillies, Chairman of , announced on the eve of his visit to India to promote wider business links.

The food and drink industry is worth over £13 bn a year to the Scottish economy and currently accounts for 20 percent of all exports. Spearheaded by James Withers, Chief Executive of industry leadership body Scotland Food & Drink, the delegation of senior executives from Scotland’s trade bodies and artisan food manufacturers will be introducing their products to retail and hospitality influencers in both Mumbai and New Delhi. It follows a visit to Scotland by Indian buyers and retailers in September 2013.

Scottish company Highland Spring, UK’s number one bottled water brand, is entering the Indian market in JV with Delhi-based Jembex Enterprises. Over 8 million litres of Highland Spring water is exported globally every year.

Best known for Scotch Whisky, which generates £4.3 bn in exports annually according to the Scottish Whisky Association, Scotland also produces some of the world’s best smoked salmon, seafood, red meat, dairy and bakery products. Scottish food and drink exports to India increased 87 percent to £62.7m during the five year period to 2012.

, Acting Country Manager, Scotland Development International, said: “India is a market of opportunity for Scotland’s premium food and drink producers. Changing tastes and growing incomes are increasing demand for gourmet products, whilst the rapid expansion of modern food retail in both urban and rural areas over the last five years has created new outlets to reach discerning consumers.”

James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Our aim is to grow the food and drink industry in Scotland to £16.5 bn by 2017 and increasing sales in key international markets such as India, which as a nation is so passionate about food, is pivotal to achieving this goal.”