Food, Drink & Agriculture

Food, drink and agriculture make up a significant part of the economy in the North East and this sector directly employs 22,000 people. Food and drink, and its relationships to the traditional industries of farming and fishing, is vitally important to the growth of the Aberdeen City Region.  

As well as being the home of the world-renowned Aberdeen Angus cattle, Europe’s largest seafood catches are landed at Peterhead Port and Fraserburgh Harbour. The region is also home to food and drink brands enjoyed around the world, contributing an estimated 20% of Scotland’s food and drink industry output. 



The industry ambition is to grow the North East's food, drink, agriculture and seafood sector turnover by 5% per annum, double output and exports by 2030, and increase productivity by 25% by 2025. These goals reflect the Scotland Food & Drink Ambition 2030 target to double industry turnover in Scotland.

A combination of accelerated business growth, UK and international market development, innovation to harness new technology and digital integration in the primary food supply chains, and ambitious infrastructure projects will achieve the regional goals.

The £27 million ONE SeedPod project will be the go-to place for delivery of the regional ambition for food and drink and will open in 2022. The project is supported by £10 million of Aberdeen City Region Deal funding from the UK Government and Scottish Government, £5.4 million from Opportunity North East (ONE), £3.1 million from the Just Transition Fund and £2 million from Scottish Enterprise.

The unique entrepreneurial ecosystem, industry expertise, bespoke facilities and support programmes will drive the evolution of existing businesses and inspire and develop the next generation of producers. 

Once open in 2024, it will become the focal point to create and deliver the region's leading position in industry product and process innovation, premium market development, and entrepreneurial growth.

The Seafood Transformation project targets a revolution in the region's largest processing sector to increase its productivity through advanced manufacturing and processing facilities, leadership and skills investment, and access to new national and international markets.

The seafood processing sector in North East Scotland generates more than £100 million in gross value add (GVA) a year, contributes £700 million of the region's £2.2 billion food and drink manufacturing turnover and provides more than 4,000 direct full-time equivalent jobs.

Half of the region's most prominent 25 food companies are fish processors. Peterhead is Europe's largest white fish port, and Fraserburgh is Scotland's largest shellfish port.

With proper support, seafood processing can become a more significant growth industry and contribute more to the regional and national economy.

The Aberdeen city region has long been renowned as a Global Energy Hub.

Aberdeen is a vibrant region in Scotland's North East, helping to lead the rapid shift towards a net zero future. Not only is Aberdeen at the forefront of the energy transition, but it is also a world leader in the life sciences industry and home to food and drink brands enjoyed across the world.

ONE SeedPod


ONE SeedPod is a £27 million investment in the food and drink industry to create an innovation hub for manufacturing and production in north east Scotland that will deliver regional and national growth ambitions.

Led by Opportunity North East (ONE), the transformational project will put the region's businesses at the forefront of innovation, productivity and sustainability, increasing high-value exports and creating new jobs. It will play a key role in supporting businesses and the sector to deliver low-carbon production and contribute to net-zero goals.


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Seafood Transformation Project


The Seafood Transformation Project will contribute to crucial sector growth and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and net-zero. It will stimulate business investment, create a new seafood industry park to add much-needed capacity, enhance environmental performance, promote innovation and market development, and address labour shortages and productivity through automation, process redesign and upskilling.

The Seafood Transformation Project is an ambitious five-year, £75 million actions and investment plan. It represents a targeted investment in productivity and adding value to deliver growth in quality jobs.

Once delivered, through a combination of public and private funding, the Seafood Transformation Project will represent a step-change in the seafood processing industry to benefit both the Scottish and broader UK economies.


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Peterhead Fish Market

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