Food & Drink

Cream of the crop

The food and drink industry is one of the most important creators of jobs in the UK, with around 400,000 people employed across the country, largely in small and medium-sized companies. The figure is only likely to grow in the coming years, with 140,000 new recruits likely to be needed by 2024 to feed the country’s growing population. The industry is having to deal with some significant challenges at the moment, not least the consequences of the Brexit vote, which could make life harder for a sector that currently relies on EU nationals for almost a third of its workforce.

Sector at a glance

  • £22bn - The value of food and drink exports from the UK
  • £97.3bn- The turnover of the food and drink industry, equivalent to 19% of total UK manufacturing turnover
  • 97% - The proportion of businesses in the food and drink sector that are small to medium-sized