Statistics at a Glance
These statistics have been compiled from the latest industry data on food and
drink manufacturing and the most recent Office of National Statistics Annual
- The food and drink manufacturing industry is the single largest manufacturing
sector in the UK, with a turnover of £76bn and gross value added of £20.6
, accounting for 16% of the total manufacturing sector.
- The industry employs up to 400,000 workers. This represents 15% of the overall
manufacturing workforce in the UK .
- Our sector is an important trading partner with Europe: exporting over £12bn of
food and non-alcoholic drink products a year, 77% of which go the EU.
- The industry is a key partner for British farmers: buying two thirds of all the
UK's agricultural produce. All this economic activity is carried out by over
6,500 food and drink enterprises – many of which are small companies employing
than 10 people.
- Our sector invests over £1bn in to R&D resulting in over 8,500 new
products in 2011
- Production in our sector has been the most resilient and stable of all
manufacturing industries throughout the recession with the industry
producing at levels over 10% higher than the manufacturing average.
- Our industry has increased the productivity of its labour force over the last 10
years by 14%  leaving food and drink workers in the UK nearly 50% more
productive than the EU average .
Food and drink manufacturing has become a safe and rewarding environment to
- Businesses in our sector have reduced their rate of injuries by over 50% over
the last 20 years, one of the biggest reductions of any business sector in the
- An FDF survey conducted in 2010 indicated that the average tenure for employees
was just under 9 years  and more recent data shows that average
remain higher than the national average .
Last reviewed: 15 Mar 2013
- Information taken from latest ONS Annual Business Survey, food and non-alcoholic
- From the ONS Business Register and Employment Survey 2010 (BRES)
- BIS R&D Scoreboard 2010
- Mintel GNPD
- Defra Food Pocket Book 2011 (Total Factor Productivity)
- From Eurostat SBS statistics (GVA per employee)
- HSE accident and injury statistics
- Survey conducted for IfM Value of Food & Drink Manufacturing to the UK
- From the ONS Average Weekly Earnings data (March 2012)