The South West food and drink manufacturing sector generates £4.5billion turnover annually, accounting for 7% of England’s sector turnover.

The sector employs around 37,200 people. It accounts for 11% of the food and drink manufacturing sector’s workforce in England. Sector employment is concentrated in Cornwall (20%), Somerset (18%), Devon (12%), Gloucestershire (11%) and Wiltshire (10%).

There are 1,200 workplaces in the sector, accounting for 13% of English sector workplaces. 65% of staff work in organisations of between 1 and 10 staff, and only 3% work in organisations of over 200 staff.

The South West food and drink sector makes up 15% of the region’s total manufacturing workforce.

Between 2000 and 2007, 4,000 jobs were lost, equivalent to a 10% drop in employment levels (lower than UK sector average of -17%). The bakery and meat processing sectors dominate South West employment in the sector; accounting for 24% and 20% of the region’s food and drink processing employment, respectively. The bakery sub-sector has experienced an increase in employment numbers 2000- 2007.

Workforce statistics:

Vacancies and skills:


Source: South West Labour Market Information Profile 2009/2010