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North East


The North East food and drink manufacturing sector generates £0.8 billion turnover annually, accounting for just 1% of England’s sector turnover. The sector employs an estimated 14,400 people. It accounts for 4% of the food and drink manufacturing sector’s workforce in England. Sector employment is concentrated in County Durham (26%), Stockton-on-Tees (16%), Northumberland (12%), Gateshead (11%) and Newcastle (10%).

There are more than 400 workplaces in the North East food and drink manufacturing sector, accounting for 5% of English sector workplaces. 64% of staff work in organisations of between 1 and 10 staff, and only 4% work in organisations of over 200 staff.

The North East food and drink sector makes up 11% of the North East’s total manufacturing workforce.

Between 2000 and 2007, 4,900 jobs were lost, equivalent to a 25% drop in employment levels (a larger decline than the UK sector average of –17%). The bakery and meat sub-sectors dominate North East employment in the sector, accounting for 32% and 17% of the region’s food and drink processing employment, respectively.

Workforce statistics:

Vacancies and skills:

Source: North East Labour Market Information Profile 2009/2010

Data and charts:

Occupational profile of the food and drink workforce in the North East, 2008

Sub-sector employment in the North East, 2000 and 2007

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