'Made In Scotland' labels could enhance export opportunities

28th March 2012 - Fine Cut

Scotland should promote their own brands in emerging markets with a defined 'Made in Scotland' label, claims an industry expert.

Speaking at an annual conference for the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), Bill Black, formerly of British Aerospace in Prestwick, believes that Scottish product labels could help push home-grown goods into middle classes in the Far East and Eastern Europe.

Black, who is now vice president at engineering firm, ABB will put his suggestion to delegates, claiming that these target markets "want foreign goods as a status symbol", thus there are huge opportunities for Scottish producers.

This is particularly important given that Scottish food and drinks businesses are 'leading the charge overseas', according to Network Enterprise Europe, accounting for a significant proportion of the £12 billion earned from British exports in 2011.

These firms include the likes of Baxters, of soup fame, Diageo - makers of Johnny Walker whiskey and shortbread producer, Walkers. Strong demand has resulted in an increase in exports of 12 per cent, something Scotland should reap the benefits from.

SMAS director, Nick Shields, was positive about the idea, telling The Scotsman: "We already have some industries successfully branding Scottish-produced products as such, for example in the food and drink and textiles industries.

"There could be other instances where consumers would welcome extra signposting to a product made in Scotland and this would be an area that we'd explore with industry and sector trade bodies to ascertain where it would make most impact." 



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