NFU Scotland has welcomed the announcement that the food and drink sector is to receive £5 million from the Scottish government to help its recovery from the devastating impact of coronavirus and prepare for the uncertainties of Brexit.

Through the Scotland Food and Drink Partnership, which comprises industry trade bodies, the Scottish government, and other public sector bodies, a new joint industry and government plan containing more than 50 actions has been developed.

The actions support all sectors of Scotland’s food and drink industry, including agriculture, as they recover from the pandemic and prepare for Brexit.

It also supports the partnership’s aim of delivering Ambition 2030, the shared vision for the future of Scotland’s food and drink sector.

The industry will contribute £3 million of private sector funding to support delivery of the plan through to 2023.

£3 billion in lost revenue

The food and drink sector has been one of the areas hardest hit by Covid-19, with industry forecasts predicting up to £3 billion in revenue lost this year alone.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:

Farming, food and drink are huge Scottish success stories. The tens of thousands who work within these industries are justifiably proud of our strong reputation and the high quality of products we produce.

"This investment from the Scottish government in the food and drink sector give us the opportunity to bolster domestic sales and fulfil our ambition to increase exports of our high-quality food and drink offering abroad.

"This will help create jobs and opportunities which is vital for our recovery during these uncertain times.

The funding will give impetus to the 50-point Recovery Plan, a collaboration between farmers, fishermen, industry and the Scottish government.

"The plan will help in creating a more resilient farming sector through profitable growth while making an even greater contribution to a fairer, greener Scotland," he concluded.