To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the importance of the food and farming sector in the new industrial strategy.
Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector employing 400,000 people. The UK food and drink supply chain (including farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, catering, and restaurants) contributed £108 billion to the UK economy in 2014, and employed 1 in 8 workers. As a geographically diverse sector, the success of the industry is crucial to driving growth across the country, a key objective of Industrial Strategy.
As part of the Industrial Strategy, Government is supporting all sectors across the economy to grow, invest and reach their potential. Our new approach also challenges individual sectors to upgrade through “Sector Deals” - an open challenge to industry to come to us with proposals to transform their sector. We are prepared to work with any sector which can organise behind strong leadership to address shared challenges and opportunities.