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19 October 2017, 06:34
Haggis is to be exported to Canada for the first time in almost half a century.
Producer Macsween of Edinburgh will start selling the traditional Scottish product there after it developed a new recipe that meets with Canadian regulations.
Scotland exports more than £94 million worth of food and drink to Canada, with some reports indicating the market for Scottish food has increased by 37% over the last year.
The country imposed a ban on red meat from Europe in 1996 in the wake of the BSE scare affecting beef cattle. It was only lifted in 2015.
James Macsween, managing director at the food firm, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be the first Scottish haggis sold in Canada in 46 years."
He added: "This is a huge milestone for Macsween to be expanding internationally and leading the way in an increasingly competitive market.
"My grandfather Charlie would be very proud to see how far we've come from his original butcher's shop in Bruntsfield, which he opened back in 1953."
Attending an event in Toronto to showcase Scotland's food and drink produce to Canadian buyers, Economy Secretary Keith Brown welcomed the news.
He said: "Haggis is known the world over for being a truly iconic symbol of Scotland.
"After waiting 46 years I'm sure there will be many Canadians and ex-pat Scots looking forward to having Scotland's national dish at the centre of their table at the next Burns' supper."
Mr Brown added: "This development is an indication of the increasing interest in, and love of, Scottish food and drink produce in North America.
"As a Government, we have supported Macsween to grow their business and will continue to support Scottish companies in unlocking the significant opportunities to be found in this fast-growing market."
Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International said: "It's great to see the industry's investment in market and product development delivering results.
"Canada is a priority market for Scotland and we are working with Scotland Food and Drink partners to ensure that companies are able to fully exploit the opportunities in retail and food service.
"Earlier this month we had 21 buyers and distributors from Canada at our Showcasing Scotland event. They were very impressed by the companies they met and are keen to do more business with Scotland."
Food minister George Eustice of the UK Government said: "At a time when we are seeing more of our world-class food and drink on supermarket shelves and dinner tables around the world, it is excellent to see yet another of our great food producers finding new ways to sell our iconic brands and our very best dishes to new markets."