Breaking the chain

01 July 2016

Key workforce considerations for the UK food and drink supply chain as we leave the EU


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The UK food and drink supply chain contributes £110 billion to the economy and employs four million people1. In total, it represents 13.2% of UK employment, and every day provides safe, affordable and nutritious food and drink to the nation. Food and drink manufacturing is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, bigger than automotive and aerospace combined. Food and drink retail is the largest service sector employer. Our supply chain is therefore vital to the functioning of the economy as a whole and to the health and wellbeing of the nation.

Ensuring the nation can be fed must be a high strategic priority for Government. The people working across our supply chain are essential to what UK consumers eat and drink. However, the public’s vote to leave the EU in June 2016 has presented our sector with significant challenges and opportunities when it comes to migration and access to labour. We hope that by coming together and pooling our data, this industry research will inform policymakers and provide appropriate solutions to the issues facing us.