The CIAA report covers numerous issues affecting Europe's food and drink sector. These include innovation trends and the development of new technologies. The brochure also contains lists of the top food manufacturers in Europe and the world.
"Statistics are playing a key role in the elaboration and the implementation of European policies," said CIAA director general Raymond Destin. "This publication illustrates the CIAA's efforts to contribute to a better knowledge of the European food and drink industry and the challenges facing EU decision makers."
The report contains detailed data on growth in terms of production volume. In 2002 this increased by 1.8 per cent across the bloc, while for the first semester of 2003, the sector increased by 0.3 per cent. The CIAA believes that these figures confirm that the food industry has managed to navigate through difficult economic circumstances relatively well.
In addition, exports of food products have continue to grow in 2002 (3 per cent), though at a slower rate than in 2001 (5 per cent). This, says that CIAA, demonstrates that the food and drink industry has been less affected than the other manufacturing industries by the crisis that followed the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Nonetheless it does indicate a downturn in food exports, and this has resulted in some job losses within the sector.
The food and drink industry remains very diversified and fragmented. More than 90 per cent of food enterprises are small and medium size companies. These account for almost the half of the turn over and two-thirds of jobs.
The CIAA also analysed production specialisation within various Member States. The report reveals a number of interesting statistics - for example, France produces more that 20 per cent of European processed meat, while Germany is the largest processor of fruits and vegetables.
Another interesting finding has been the amount of money spent on food items within the average household. The food budget has traditionally been the largest expense within European households, though this is being progressively replaced by housing and transport expenses. However, this evolution has not yet occurred within candidate countries, where 22 per cent of household budgets in the future Member States are spent on food expenses. Within the EU, this figure is around 12 per cent.
The CIAA is the voice of EU food and drink industry, which is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the world. The CIAA estimates its production value to be around €600 billion, with 26,000 companies employing close to 3 million employees. The food and drink industry uses 70 per cent of Community agricultural products and is the second world exporter of foodstuffs.