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Scotland Food & Drink welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to economic growth. Scotland Food & Drink attended a speech in Glasgow by First Minister John Swinney and Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes.

Iain Baxter, CEO of Scotland Food & Drink, said:

“The First Minister and Deputy First Minister this morning laid out their vision for Scotland’s economic future and the key principles that will underpin it. We are pleased to see their renewed commitment to economic growth and the vital role our food and drink businesses will play. As Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector, it plays a critical role in many rural and coastal communities.

“Ms Forbes articulated her vision for a prosperous economy, emphasising the need for businesses to collaborate with the Scottish Government on a journey of innovation, inward investment, and sustainable use of our natural resources. We welcome this vision and the Deputy First Minister’s recognition of Scotland’s food and drink as the best produce in the world, highlighting the significant potential we have yet to fully unlock.

“The First Minister elaborated on the government’s strategic approach, which is underpinned by policies aimed at eradicating child poverty while fostering a strong, innovative, and dynamic economy. He stressed that there is no conflict between economic growth and eradicating child poverty. We agree that these goals are interlinked and can be mutually reinforcing.

“The guiding principles shared today reflect a commitment to partnership between businesses, communities, and wider stakeholders. The First Minister’s call for concrete actions aligns with our delivery plans, ensuring tangible progress throughout the food and drink supply chain. The emphasis on building a resilient economy through strong supply chains aligns with the objectives set out in our industry strategy: Sustaining Scotland; Supplying the World.

“Scotland Food & Drink is proud to support the Scottish Government’s vision of a wellbeing economy. We firmly believe that economic growth is essential to generate additional value, enabling investment in public services, infrastructure, and innovation – all crucial for societal wellbeing. Growth creates employment opportunities, reduces poverty, and enhances environmental sustainability through cleaner technologies and practices.

“We value our ongoing partnership with the Scottish Government, which ensures that government policies reflect the practical realities of running a food and drink business. This collaboration is vital in enabling more businesses along the supply chain to reach their potential, selling into our key markets in Scotland, the UK, and globally.

“We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with the Scottish Government, with a can-do attitude and a commitment to collectively striving for a thriving, inclusive, and sustainable economy for Scotland.

“We can achieve those goals by working together and realising the value across the food and drink landscape, while meeting our steadfast commitment to Net Zero by 2045 and aligning our social, economic, and environmental efforts to maximise benefits for the whole of Scotland.”