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Food & Drink

The region hosts significant Food and Drink production activity with many world class brands including Cadbury’s, Molson Coors, Britvic and Soleco based in the region alongside large quantities of smaller regional and local producers.

In terms of the region’s location, Greater Birmingham is ideally suited for food distribution. A gateway to the European market, it offers particular opportunities as a European head quarter location for international organisations and companies in the supply chain – 90% of the UK’s market is within four hours of the region.

The local market also supports a growing agglomeration around national suppliers of ethnic cuisine which reflects on Birmingham’s diverse population and continues to be an area where competitive advantage can be gained, particularly in import and export markets.  Mid-level skills in production and processing are readily available, with specialist expertise including Halal and ethnic foods.  Additionally world-renowned food technology and manufacturing expertise is developed at the regions universities and through existing Research & Development (R&D) activity.

Food & drink in Greater Birmingham

  • Greater access to the local market – access to a substantial customer base, wholesale market, an extensive supply chain of SMEs and micro businesses, excellent transport links and access to a sizeable pool of skilled labour
  • Unique food and drink expertise of local universities, notably University of Birmingham’s Formulation Engineering Department and University College Birmingham’s Food Innovation Facility
  • The sector employs 28,000 people in more than 1,100 companies in the Greater Birmingham area and some 58,000 people in more than 2,300 companies across the West Midlands as a whole
  • In the last 3 years (2013 – 2015) employment has expanded by 10.6% in the GBS LEP area and 11% in the West Midlands as a whole – The sector has significantly out-performed Great Britain as a whole – where there was growth of just 2.3%.
  • Healthy levels of inward investment, with 25 new food and drink FDI projects in the West Midlands since 2007
  • Key assets such as access to a large domestic market, a long pedigree in production and R&D and a first-class logistical network; and
  • An excellent logistical base with access to 90% of the UK’s market within a 4 hour drive as well as international connectivity provided by Birmingham Airport
 

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