An Eurostat overview shows that there were just over 48 million people employed within the EU27’s food chain in 2008, equivalent to more than a fifth of total employment.
The food chain usually starts on the farm, within the agricultural sector, where some of the products are already processed. Most of the food consumed in the EU is however processed within the manufacturing sector, before it is distributed through wholesalers and finally purchased by consumers in shops or restaurants.
An overview shows that there were just over 48 million people employed within the EU27’s food chain in 2008, equivalent to more than a fifth of total employment. The food chain was made-up of almost 17 million different holdings/enterprises and generated 750 billion € of value added, equivalent to around 6% of the GDP of the EU27. Four fifths of the holdings/enterprises within the food chain were agricultural holdings. These holdings also generated the majority of employment (56%) within the food chain. However, value added was more evenly spread over the different actors in the food chain, with 26% each of total value added recorded in agriculture and food & beverage manufacturing, 20% in food & beverage retailing, 17% in food & beverage services1 and 11% in food & beverage wholesaling. This information is extracted from two publications issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
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