Press release

Whisky and haggis exports get Burns Night boost

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Figures show exports of the iconic Scottish favourites have risen since 2010, generating billions for the UK economy.

Millions of people around the world tonight will be tucking into haggis and toasting Robert Burns with a dram of whisky, as figures reveal exports of the iconic Scottish favourites have risen since 2010 generating billions for the UK economy.

In the last four years the UK has exported £4.85 million of haggis to 28 countries, up 51% between 2011 and 2013 - Ireland, France, Spain and Hong Kong are the biggest buyers of haggis outside the UK.

Scotch whisky is enjoying rising exports, with a 24% increase between 2010 and 2013. There were 1.3 billion bottles exported in 2013, worth £4.37 billion and enough to fill Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Swimming Pool 145 times.

Exports of Scotch whisky are worth £135 a second to our growing economy and, along with Haggis, contributed to a record year for the UK food chain which generated £103 billion in 2013 and now employs 1 in 8 people.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

Robert Burns called haggis the ‘great chieftain o’ the pudding-race’ and it’s wonderful that more than 200 years later, this delicious, wholesome dish is now being appreciated around the world. In a Burns night meal, nothing goes better with haggis than a dram of Scotch whisky, one of our greatest export success stories.

More and more food and drink from Scotland and the rest of Britain is being sold abroad thanks to this government’s efforts and the success of our long-term economic plan. It is yet more proof of how we are stronger together in the United Kingdom.

Scottish haggis brand Macsween sells more than a million units of haggis over the Burns period. Jo Macsween, Haggis Ambassador and joint Managing Director of Macsween, said:

Macsween have seen a rise in haggis consumption outside of Scotland as our brand continues to grow through innovation and our dedication to introducing our award-winning products to those who have yet to discover the versatile dish.

Haggis is indeed very popular in Europe, where consumers are engaged with nose to tail eating. In fact, haggis is actually an ancient global dish, and many European countries have their own equivalents—so haggis is well-received.

Haggis is very popular across the globe—we have seen requests from India, China and the Middle East.

2013 also saw a successful year for Scottish farmed salmon, with growing global demand making it the UK’s second most exported food after chocolate confectionary. Worldwide sales of UK salmon in 2013 reached an all-time high of £571 million.

Scottish wild salmon and Scottish farmed salmon are among 62 foods produced in the UK that enjoy Protected Food Name status, which gives them legal protection against imitation throughout the EU. Products with this label must be made in particular geographical areas and follow specified production methods.

Scotland currently has 13 protected food names, including Arbroath Smokies and Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar. Other applications for PFN status in the pipeline include Dundee Cake and Ayreshire Early Potatoes.

Image credit: Wikimedia commons