Snapshot of Scottish Agriculture
Scottish ag production
When you think about Scottish agriculture the first thing that pops into
your head is probably Scotch whisky. The industry deserves the
attention as Scotland exports $6.5 billion of whisky each year. But Scottish
ag also produces beef, smoked salmon, fruit, and more for a food and
drink industry that is worth $19.8 billion. This slideshow gives a quick
snapshot of Scottish ag and how this compares to U.S. production.
Scotland turns out an impressive number of agriculture products for its
size, population, and arable acres. To give you an accurate comparison
of the U.S. and Scottish agriculture, let’s start out with some general
stats. The population of Scotland is 5.2 million compared to the U.S.’s
316 million people. The GDP in Scotland is $216 billion while America’s
is at $16.8 trillion. The U.S. has 408 million acres in crop production
and Scotland has 1.38 million crop acres.
Scotland’s food and drink exports are worth more than $8 billion, accounting for 5% of all exports. The U.S. food, drink, and feed exports make up 9% of total American exports at $136 billion.
Food and whisky exports
From 2007 to 2012, there was a 50% rise in food and whisky exports. Scottish food is now exported to 100 countries, and whisky is exported to 200 countries.
360,000 people are employed in the food and drink industry in Scotland. About 65,000 people are directly involved in agriculture. The workers at the left are harvesting broccoli in Blairgowrie, Scotland.
Red meat industry
50,000+ jobs depend on the Scottish red meat industry. In the U.S. the production and processing of beef supports 1.4 million jobs.
About $204 per second is generated in revenue from Scottish whisky exports. Whisky is the third-largest contributor to Scotland’s GDP, behind the oil industry and financial services.
Whisky in the states
40 bottles of Scotch whisky are shipped overseas every second. The U.S. is the
largest market for Scotch whisky by value, representing $1 in every $5
Farms in Scotland are four times larger than the European Union average because of poorer quality of land. The average size of a Scottish farm is 434 acres.
Scotland grows 820,000 acres of barley; more than a quarter of the U.K.’s total barley acres. In 2011, the U.S. harvested 2.24 million acres of barley.
With more than 400,000 breeding beef cows, Scotland has 24% of the U.K. herd and 8% of the European breeding cattle herd.
Soft fruit production
More than one-third of the U.K.’s soft fruit production is in Scotland. In 2007, Scottish farmers produced 2,400 tonnes of raspberries and 4,600 tonnes of strawberries.
Scottish farmers produce 364,796 tonnes of fish and shellfish worth $704 million.
- Most photos provided by Harlen Persinger.
Facts about farming and the food and drink industry in Scotland.