An essential new resource for members to help you plan for the future and to ensure sure you stay ahead.

FDF position before the UK's EU Referendum


Britain's leading food and drink manufacturers overwhelmingly endorsed the campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union. A comprehensive poll of FDF members saw more than two thirds (71 per cent) of those responding support the 'remain' option. A further 17 per cent responded, 'my company chooses not to express a preference' while 12 per cent expressed support for the 'leave' option.

The EU Referendum

On Thursday 23 June 2016, the UK voted in a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU, with 51.9% voting in favour of the UK leaving the EU.

FDF Director General Ian Wright CBE responded to the vote to leave in the UK's EU Referendum. Ian saying:

“In March, we released the results of a poll of our members which showed 70% support for Britain to remain in the EU. It's inevitable in light of those results that the majority of FDF members will regard this as a disappointing result for the food and drink industry.

“Now FDF will work on behalf of our members and all those across our industry to find a way through this very challenging period that we face. We'll focus on working with the Government to understand what this means for trading, market access and regulation to secure the best outcome for British food and drink manufacturing business and their customers.”

UK food and drink industry statistics

UK-EU trade in food and non- alcoholic drink (2017)
  UK exports UK imports
  Value % Share Value   % Share
Food & non-alc drink:  
EU £10.9bn 71.5% £29.2bn 70.2%
EU PTA £1.5bn 9.5% £5.5bn 70.2%
Non-EU £4.4bn 28.5% £12.4bn 29.8%
Value added food & non-alc drink:  
EU £3.9bn 66.4% £10.1bn 84.5%
EU PTA £0.7bn 11.6% £0.4bn 3.2%
Non-EU £2.0bn 11.6% £1.9bn 15.5%

Source of Data: Her Majesty's Customs & Excise 2017

UK exports of food and non-alcoholic drinks (2017)


Source of Data: Her Majesty's Customs & Excise 2017

UK imports of food and non-alcoholic drinks (2017)


Source of Data: Her Majesty's Customs & Excise 2017

Number of workers (in 000s) in food chain sectors by nationality group

UK 2010 2013 2016
Agriculture 299 94% 268 93% 283 89%
Food and drink manufacturing 295 77% 293 74% 270 66%
Food wholesale 140 83% 293 80% 134 76%
Food retail 1,044 92% 1,129 92% 1,102 90%
Food and beverage services 881 81% 950 81% 1,053 80%
Economy total 26,671 92% 27,209 91% 28,063 89%

 

EU27 2010 2013 2016
Agriculture 15 5% 16 6% 29 9%
Food and drink manufacturing 66 17% 83 21% 121 30%
Food wholesale 19 11% 24 14% 32 18%
Food retail 30 3% 37 3% 67 5%
Food and beverage services 86 8% 108 9% 162 12%
Economy total 1,009 3% 1,323 4% 2,028 6%

 

Non-EU 2010 2013 2016
Agriculture n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Food and drink manufacturing 21 5% 21 5% 15 4%
Food wholesale 10 6% 9 5% 9 5%
Food retail 59 5% 53 4% 48 4%
Food and beverage services 120 11% 106 9% 99 8%
Economy total 1,197 4% 1,176 4% 1,221 4%

Source: ONS data cited in “Breaking the Chain“ FDF, 2017

Origins of food consumed in the UK (2016)


(a) consumption of UK origin consists of UK domestic production minus UK exports

Source: Defra Statistics Pocketbook, 2017


Last reviewed: 16 Aug 2018