More than 1 million EU farmers depend on the EU primary food processing sector, new study concludes


Brussels, 29 October 2015

A new study published today by LEI Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and funded by the EU Primary Food Processors Association (PFP), quantifies the contribution of the EU vegetable oils and fats, sugar, vegetable proteins, starch, flour and cocoa sectors to EU jobs and growth, the stated priority of the Juncker Commission.

Highlights of the study, which will be presented at a PFP Forum with key stakeholders in Brussels this afternoon, include:

EU Primary Food Processors:

  • Directly employ more than 120,000 people
  • Provide indirect employment to more than 1 million EU farmers (400,000 on a full time equivalent basis)
  • Process over 200 million tonnes of EU agricultural raw materials
  • Generate 70 billion Euros in revenues each year

The study also outlines the threats and opportunities to the sectors’ future development.

Reacting to the study, the PFP President Gianfranco Patrucco, said “The importance of its agricultural sector to the EU is reasonably well understood, as is the EU’s global leadership in food production. What is less well understood is the invaluable link which primary food processors play in transforming the EU’s agricultural raw materials into the high quality sustainable ingredients the food industry needs. This study is strongly welcomed because it helps quantify and explain that invaluable link and reinforces how important a strong primary food processing sector is to the future of the EU economy. I very much hope that the EU institutions will take full account of our contribution as they further develop their strategy on jobs and growth”.

Link to: LEI Wageningen UR Report “Primary Food Processing, cornerstone of plant-based food production and the bio-economy in Europe”

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Link to : PFP Forum Competitiveness press release


November 12, 2015

Related Key-messages

2. Rural Strength

We strengthen rural areas with essential sources of income and employment

We strengthen rural areas by providing an essential source of income and employment, both directly and to the farmers who supply the raw materials used to make our ingredients.

5. Sustainability

The EU starch industry is a pillar of the sustainable food system.

By valorising the entire crop to serve food, feed and industrial customers, while reducing our environmental footprint, the EU starch industry is a pillar of the sustainable food system.