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71,000 jobs growth in food

18 September 2014

New figures published show employment in the food and drink industry has risen with 71,000 more people employed at the beginning of 2014 than at the same time last year, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss has announced. The latest Food Statistics Pocketbook released today shows the number of people employed in this world leading industry now account for 13 per cent of national employment in the UK - totalling more than 3.6 million people.

Studies quoted in the Pocketbook from 2012 and 2013 also show consumers saying British origin was the most important factor when choosing their food.
Other statistics published today show: 
  • the total value of food and drink exports is rising, worth £6 billion more than in 2005 currently standing at £18.9 billion;
  • exports of dairy products and eggs have increased in 2013 by 14 per cent, exports of animal feed went up by 11 per cent, and fruit and vegetables went up 9.3 per cent; and
  • the value of agriculture to the economy increased by 7% between 2012 and 2013.
Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss said:
“Britain's food industry is an economic powerhouse driving growth and jobs. We want more people to buy British both at home and abroad.

“We have some brilliant success stories like Step Farm in Oxford, part of an organic dairy co-op that sold a staggering 40 million pints of cheese, milk and cream to America and Europe last year or Suma in Yorkshire who sell our organic veg to Hong Kong  – we want to see more businesses like this striking deals and trading our high quality produce abroad.”
The Government is working hard to enable the food and farming industry to compete with the rest of the world by:
  • driving up consumers’ confidence and providing clear information about the food they buy – this includes cracking down on food fraudsters with a new Food Crime Unit and improving country of origin labelling;
  • making it easier for government departments, schools and hospitals to buy top quality local produce, opening up £400 million of new supply opportunities to British farmers; and
  • helping business strike lucrative deals abroad by removing barriers to trade and opening up new markets.

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