Scottish Exports - index
Perhaps you thought the only food products to come out of Scotland was Angus beef, salmon, and strange dishes made with sheep's intestines. But in fact Scotland is home to a strong agricultural sector producing a wide range of fine food products.
Scotland has a varied, rugged terrain so different parts of the country tend to specialise in different products depending on their climatic and topographical qualities. In fact, Scotland's mountainous rugged terrain means that just a quarter of the land is cultivated.
The major food producing areas are as follows. Fife and the Scottish border lands are perfect for growing cereals and root crops such as barley, wheat and potatoes. The mild climatic conditions of Tayside and Angus make them suitable for growing strawberries and raspberries along with cereals. The less arable lands of the north are the focus for sheep rearing and the production of lamb and mutton, and the south-west counties of Ayrshire, and Dumfries and Galloway are centres for beef and dairy products. Scotland is home to around 10,000 cattle and sheep farms.
The following sectors make up the most important Scottish exports:
- Oil / gas and fuel-based equipment
- Renewable energies, equipment and technology
- Food and beverages
- Textiles / Chemicals
- Scottish Business services
- Electronics and instrument engineering
- Mechanical engineering
The geographic origin and traditional methods of production have brought further recognition to the specific qualities of Scotch beef and Scotch lamb. Both have been approved, and are protected under EC Regulation 2081/92 for Products of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). 80% of Scottish beef production is sourced from specialist beef breeds, such as Aberdeen Angus, Galloway, Charolais and Limousin.
- The suckler bred calves are traditionally reared on Scottish hills and finished slowly on lowland farms.
- Calves from suckler herds receive their mother's milk until they are weaned aged about nine months. Once weaned, cattle are predominantly grass fed.
- Grass fed beef is higher in Vitamin E and this ensures better colour and longer shelf life.
- Feed producers, farmers, auction markets, hauliers and processors complete the chain.
- All are independently inspected as part of the integrated assurance programme to ensure that Scotch beef is controlled at every stage in production.