Beef exports were a Scottish success story in 2011

Beef exports were a Scottish success story in 2011

Food exports from Scotland hit a "record-breaking" GBP1bn (US$1.55bn) in 2011, according to the country's government.

The figures show the most popular food export from Scotland was fish and shellfish - worth GBP623m - and the top market for food and drink exports was France, followed by the US, Spain, Singapore and Germany. It was also revealed that beef and lamb exports reached GBP100m for the first time since 1996.

Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Scotland's food and drink industry has just experienced a record-breaking year and consumers at home and abroad are enjoying and celebrating our larder like never before.

"Despite a difficult economic environment in 2011, our food and drink sectors have exceeded all expectations and are now a huge success story. There is a great deal that we can be proud of and I'm sure we will continue to build on these successes in 2012."

He added that Scottish food and drink exports to key markets like China, South Africa and Poland are seeing "significant" growth and the government aims to help the industry deliver a 50% increase in the value of exports by 2016.