Sales in Scotland's food and drink sector soar
Sales in Scotland's food and drink sector soared by £1bn in 2008, according to latest official figures.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead revealed sales grew from £10.2bn to £11.2bn between 2007 and 2008.
Turnover increased by a similar amount, edging the sector closer to the £12.5bn target set for 2017.
Mr Lochhead said the food and drink sector continued to play a key role in Scotland's economic recovery.
He said: "Scotland's food and drink is already a fantastic success story and an industry punching well above its weight.
"We have producers, suppliers, fishermen, farmers and manufacturers to be extremely proud of. Consumers, at home and abroad, have also played a vital role by recognising Scotland's quality food and drink sector."
Paul McLaughlin, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said: "While food and drink is a more robust sector than others in times of economic downturn due to consistent demand for core products, this does not mean we rest on our laurels.
"The latest industry figures are very encouraging and evidence the significant progress Scotland Food and Drink is making towards delivering our mission to grow the sector to a £12.5bn industry."