What is productivity?

Productivity is a measure of how well resources (e.g. labour, capital) are converted into goods and services. There are two commonly used measures of labour productivity: gross value-added (GVA) per employee and output per hour.

Why does productivity matter in food and drink?

Given the size and scale of the industry, any food and drink productivity improvements will have a significant impact on the UK's manufacturing performance and that of the wider economy. For that reason, exploring where and how productivity can be improved is not only good for the sector, but good for the UK as a whole.

A substantial boost in food and drink productivity growth will also lead to investment in leading edge innovation, improved technology and the necessary advances in food production to ensure consumers continue to have access to sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious food. However we know that skills issues, such as an ageing workforce, talent shortages, technical and scientific skills gaps and low apprentice numbers, risk undermining future productivity improvements in our sector.

Food and drink industry growth vision

FDF has a vision for UK food and drink manufacturing to deliver 20% growth of GVA by 2020. Food and drink manufacturing's productivity has performed well in recent years compared to other sectors in the UK economy and overseas competitors. Higher levels of productivity are essential to delivering economic growth and ensuring a competitive industry in a global market.

As part of FDF's growth vision, the industry has an ambition to treble the number of apprentices in the food and drink manufacturing workforce and grow value-added food and drink exports by a third by 2020.