SCOTTISH salmon has been revealed as the UK's top food export in 2023, in the latest annual HM Revenue and Customs figures. 

Sales of salmon increased by 0.5% to £581 million as Scotch whisky exports topped £5.6 billion.

US and Asian markets saw a sharp growth in demand, and France once again led global orders.

The UK's second largest food export, Cheddar cheese, as well as beef and lamb, were far lower than salmon figures.

READ MORE: Scotch whisky exports reach £5.6 billion in 2023, figures show

Sales of salmon among UK shoppers are currently running at approximately £1.25 billion. However, the sector continues to face challenges as values increased and export volumes decreased 11% compared to 2022.

Trade body Salmon Scotland has urged political parties to do more to support the sector, setting out multiple manifesto requests.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said: “The Scottish salmon sector is a bright spot in the Scottish and UK economies, and is ready to invest and create jobs.

“This is all the more important given the UK is now officially in recession and there is no growth in Scotland, so we need more government support to ensure that Scotland is open for business.

“Other nations are desperate to emulate our success, and it is vital that our sector - which employs 12,500 people and sustains our remotest communities – is supported so that we can deliver sustainable growth for decades to come.”