Food and drink ecosystem


Food and drink

This area is home to a diverse range of food and drink businesses. This area is highly specialised in food manufacturing and has significant growth potential in agri-tech - specifically in controlled environment (vertical) farming.

The area's capabilities in food production are supported and strengthened by the R&D facilities, innovators in sensory, spices and flavour houses, innovative packaging firms and specialist distribution companies located within the region. The South East Midlands sits within the UK's Logistics Golden Triangle, helping to reduce road miles by using railheads at DIRFT and Northampton Gateway J15a of M1. All major grocery retailers have RDC and distribution networks in the region.

Food security and sustainable food production are increasingly important policy agendas for the UK government.

Food and drink market data


Estimated value of goods
exported in 2021


Annual economic
output (GVA)


Real GVA growth


Jobs in F&D

SEM food and drink ecosystem

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Area specialismsMilling and cereal conversionFlavouring and condimentsBakingBrewing and distillery
Sector InnovationControlled environmentsR&D and universitiesTraining and employment sector support
ProcessingFoodDrinks and coffee roastingHospitality head offices
Support servicesPackaging and canningEngineering and machineryDistribution

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You may be interested in...

  1. Business Support - speak to a Growth Hub business adviser
  2. Inspiring talent into the sector - speak to the Careers Hub team to volunteer
  3. Knowing more about the area, investment and growth opportunities - contact SEMLEP's Business Development Manager: invest@semlep.com or 01234 436100

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