Scotland's food and drink sector has formed a new marketing body in a bid to fight off overseas rivals and create an industry worth £10bn a year by 2017.

Based at Scottish Enterprise in Aberdeen, Scotland Food & Drink is backed by companies and groups including Scot Trout, Quality Meat Scotland, the Scottish Food and Drink Federation and the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society.

The creation of Scotland Food & Drink marked a "new era" for the £7bn food industry in Scotland, said David Kilshaw, group MD of Food Partners and chairman of the public and private sector working group that has been leading the development of the organisation. "For the first time ever there's a common agenda from industry itself, and we believe this new approach is going to make our industry stronger, more profitable and sustainable in years to come," he said.

"In the face of global competition it is clear we must harness our collective resources and pull together the skills and energy of the entire supply chain to take the industry forward."

Uel Morton, chief executive of Quality Meat Scotland, said Scotland Food & Drink would help give the country's products "that extra edge over our competitors".