Economics of Independence Scotland's Economy

Leading Food and Drink Figures Declare for Yes

From Food and Drink for Yes

Today 40 leading Scottish and internationally renowned figures involved in the Scottish food and drink industry have declared their support for YES.

Open letter

Scotland’s premium quality food and drink produce is world-renowned and the sector continues to grow with a turnover of nearly £14bn.  Scotland’s food and drink manufacturing sector contributed 18% of Scotland’s overseas exports but less than 1.5% of the overseas exports of the UK as a whole.

With independence we can do much more.

We believe the food and drink sector will have more opportunities and be a much great priority for an independent Scottish government than it will be for a UK government.

Independence will also open new doors and access to new markets for our produce.

We believe there are five key opportunities for the food and drink sector with a Yes vote:

  1. Growth of ‘brand Scotland’ as we boost our international profile on the world stage, prioritising the promotion of Scotland’s food and drink exports through our network of 70-90 overseas offices;
  2. Using Scotland’s levy revenue to promote Scotland’s produce, unlike at present where it is partly used to promote our competitors;
  3. Staying in Europe with a voice to put Scotland’s priorities first;
  4. Opportunity for targeted VAT cut to boost the hospitality industry, as seen in majority of EU countries;
  5. Giving more support to our fishing and farming industries which underpin our food and drink sector.

Only independence will ensure Scotland can protect our primary producers, put Scottish food and drink interests first in our trade discussions with the EU and other countries and allow Scotland to focus on gaining access to priority growing markets where demand for first class Scottish products continue to increase.


Andrew Fairlie, Chef/Proprietor, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles

Albert H Roux OBE KFO, Chez Roux Limited

Colin Clydesdale, Chef/Restaurateur, The Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow

Roy Brett, Chef/Proprietor, Ondine

Dennis Overton OBE, Chairman, Aquascot

Neil Clapperton, MD, Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown

William Boyter, Chef/Patron, The Cellar Restaurant, Anstruther

Craig Millar, Chef/Patron, Craig Miller @16 West End, St Monans

Heather Anderson, Owner, Whitmuir Organics Limited

Brian Murphy, Chef/Patron, Pittenweem Inn, Fife

Jean-Michel Gauffre, Chef Patron, La Garrigue Restaurant, Edinburgh

Paddy Crerar, CEO, Crerar Hotels

Lewis Shand, Director, Brewmeister

Craig Stevenson, MD, Braehead Foods

Stewart A McConnach, MD, Caithness Biscuits Limited

Carole Inglis, Owner, Isle of Skye Fudge

Iain McKellar, Owner, Just Seaweed, Isle of Bute

Alan Stevenson, Scotland’s Good Hotel & Food Book

Vincent and Ruby Marr, Proprietors, Marrbury Smokehouse and Bistro, Newton Stewart

Mark Williams, Supplier and Tutor, Galloway Wild Foods

Graham Buchan, Director & Head Chef, Cow Shed and Deeside Cuisine, Banchory

Kenny Coltman, Chef/Proprietor, Coltmans Delicatessen & Kitchen, Peebles

Jim Cowie, Proprietor, The Captain’s Galley, Scrabster

Frances Barron, MD, The Dessert Depot and The Handmade Cheesecake Company

Vivienne Rollo, Owner, Kishorn Seafood Bar, Wester Ross

Alan Clark, Senior Partner, Clark’s Bakery, Dundee

Wendy Barrie, Scottish Food Guide

Jim McLaughlin, Owner, Vespa Bar (also known as Yesbar), Glasgow

Antonio Vastano, Chef/Proprietor, La Taverna, Aviemore

David Graham, Chef/Proprietor, Ballygrant Inn & Restaurant, Islay

Rosario Sartore, Chef/Proprietor, Locanda de Gusti, Edinburgh

Mark Shaw, CEO, Hazeldene Hotel Group

Angus MacRuary, Brewery Entrepreneur

Willie Park, Owner, Castle Moil Restaurant & King Haakon Bar, Kyleakin

Sandy Coghill, Cuillin Brewery, Isle of Skye

David Urquhart, Owner, Hart Hotels

Mike Small, Director, Fife Diet

Neil Stewart, Owner, Montague Bar, Edinburgh


Albert H Roux imagesLetter signatory, world-renowned chef and Scottish food and drink ambassador Albert H Roux OBE KFO, who employs over 130 people, said:

“As far as the food industry is concerned I think Scotland would be better with a Yes.  I am deeply fond of Scotland and have spent a lot of time in Scotland since the 1970s and now have several businesses there.  Scotland is a nation with world class produce, outstanding landscapes and rich history which I have been proud to promote and I think independence could offer more opportunities to promote these wonderful things.”

Welcoming Albert H Roux’s endorsement Scotland’s only two star Michelin star chef and Business for Scotland member Andrew Fairlie said:


Andrew Fairlie“Albert Roux is a world-renowned chef and ambassador for the food and drink industry in Scotland and to have his support is significant.  Albert has recognised for a long time the potential of Scotland’s food and drink sector and has been at the forefront of promoting it.

He has never missed the opportunity to champion Scotland the brand on his world travels and knows the opportunities that lie ahead for Scotland with the powers of being a normal, independent country.”

“Food and drink has achieved strong growth with a supportive Scottish government and is now worth nearly £14bn to the Scottish economy each year but there is opportunity for so much more with the powers of independence.


From world-renowned chefs to food producers, more and more people are realising that only with powers of independence will we ensure Scotland achieves its potential.  Putting our interests first at home and abroad, whether that’s directly supporting our producers in Scotland, opening up our exports to new international markets or growing ‘brand Scotland’ around the world, we will have the status of a normal nation instead of a sub-region behind the UK.”

Join Business for Scotland – Sign the business declaration

About the author

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp is the Founder and Chief Executive of Business for Scotland. Before becoming CEO of Business for Scotland Gordon ran a business strategy and social media, sales & marketing consultancy.

With a degree in business, marketing and economics, Gordon has worked as an economic development planning professional, and in marketing roles specialising in pricing modelling and promotional evaluation for global companies (including P&G).

Gordon benefits (not suffers) from dyslexia, and is a proponent of the emerging New Economics School. Gordon contributes articles to Business for Scotland, The National and Believe in Scotland.


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