Today (Monday 25 January), Scots across the world will be celebrating Burns Night with a hearty serving of haggis, thanks to the rise in exports from Scotland’s largest producer of the iconic dish to key Free-Trade Agreement markets including Singapore and Canada.
Macsween of Edinburgh, which produces a range of haggis products including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian haggis, has played an important role in sharing the dish globally.
The company made history in 2017 when it became the first company to export the dish to Canada since 1971. In the last three years, Macsween has seen an increase of 135% of their products exported to Singapore and, just last year, exported vegetarian haggis to the USA – their first export to the region in nearly 50 years.
It’s not just haggis leading the way in representing Scotland’s culinary delights on the international stage. Companies like Nairn’s Oatcakes already export to some of the UK’s key markets including Canada and New Zealand, seeing a 15% and 95% increase in sales respectively in 2019.
Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP, said:
It’s fantastic that haggis will again be enjoyed all over the world this Burns Night thanks to our brilliant Scottish businesses.
In 2019 we overtook France to become the world’s fifth largest exporter and we’re helping Scottish businesses export their world-famous products including Scottish beef and lamb to new markets.
Our new free trade agreements will make it easier for businesses to sell their goods overseas, which will encourage growth and create jobs for people in Scotland.
UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid said:
It’s fitting that on the day Scots around the globe celebrate the work of one of our greatest cultural icons, Robert Burns, we can announce an exports boom in Scottish food and drink.
I congratulate all our producers from this vital sector for their success in exporting iconic goods such as haggis and oatcakes so they can be enjoyed throughout the world.
Whilst there will be no big Burns suppers this year, I know people will be enjoying Burns Night traditions from the safety of their homes across the planet.
James Macsween, 3rd Generation Managing Director and Owner of Macsween, said:
Macsween now exports Haggis and Veggie Crumble to six international markets, and we expect to see that demand continue as we gain wider distribution of our products.
We are proud to grow through innovation, and we are dedicated to introducing our award-winning products to new international markets.
David Thomson, Chief Executive Officer, FDF Scotland, said:
Scotland’s food and drink manufacturers have great success at home and abroad. This success is largely due to the hard-working and passionate people that make up our vibrant sector.
As you enjoy some amazing Scottish food and drink to celebrate Burns Night – please remember to raise your glass to the hard-working people in the food and drink industry. Without them we wouldn’t be lucky enough to enjoy such a variety of high quality food and drink.
In under two years, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has secured trade agreements with 63 countries plus the EU, that account for £897bn of UK bilateral trade.
Our agreement with Canada locks in preferential tariffs and trading terms for more than 800 businesses in Scotland, which exported £411 million in goods to Canada in 2019. More than 40% of the UK’s food and drink exports to Canada come from Scotland.
Scotland will benefit significantly from the UK-Japan trade deal. Businesses in Scotland exported goods worth £503.4m to Japan in 2019. There will also be an opportunity for more flagship Scottish products, such as Scotch beef, to receive protected recognition in Japan in the future.
Shortbread manufacturers like Walkers could also benefit from new rules allowing them to source ingredients from different countries and still sell in Japan without tariffs. This will allow them to cut costs to boost profits.
This year, the department will be adding to these deals, with negotiations already underway with the USA, Australia and New Zealand. With the food and drink industry employing over 115,000 people in Scotland alone, DIT is committed to promoting the combined strengths of our Union, opening up new markets and export opportunities across the globe.