Scotland may be the land of whisky, but is increasingly famed for its cheese, beer, gin, biscuits, meat, and more.

The food and drink industry in Scotland is the leading sector economically, contributing £14.4 billion to GDP. The recently announced strategy through to 2030 by Scotland Food & Drink is to achieve a turnover of £30 billion, which would be an outstanding performance on top of its already impressive growth.

Food and drink related businesses employ more than 36,000 people, and account for 19% of the Scottish manufacturing workforce, the largest manufacturing sector in Scotland. It now outstrips the Oil and Gas sector as a net contributor to GDP.

How exactly is Scotland doing this? While government support and investment have made this industry a priority, the phenomenal success of the sector is largely down to indigenous companies pursuing ambitious and creative strategies both at home and abroad. And it is the achievements of some of these companies that will be recognised and rewarded in Aberdeen tonight at the North East Scotland Food and Drink Awards.

Over 40 nominations have been submitted to the Awards judging panel.  Categories include Best Young Business: Best Food Tourism Experience: and Best New Retail Product. Among those making it through to the shortlist are: Associated Seafoods, Cocoa Ooze Chocolates, Dean's of Huntly, Esker Spirits, Fierce BeerJohn Ross Jr SeafoodsMackintosh of Glendaveny, Porter's Gin, and the Speyside Craft Brewery.

The innovation and determination of these and other Scottish food and drink companies are helping Scotland to expand its global reach and reputation. Total food and drink exports for 2016 were valued at £5.5bn, and continue to grow. Scotland is taking the world of food and drink by storm.

Shepherd and Wedderburn are proud to be part of this success.Our client base spans all stages of food and drink production for the home and export market. This broad spectrum gives us unrivalled industry know-how, which results in a quicker and deeper understanding of issues as they arise. 

Clients like Genius Foods, William Grant & Sons, and Scottish Sea Farms Limited, to name a few, rely on our expertise for everything from manufacturing and supply agreements, to brand protection, competition law compliance and food safety /recall advice.

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