London?S Food And Drink Industry
Food and drink is the second largest manufacturing sector in London. It is also the manufacturing sector which has performed the best in the capital over the last five years. West London Business says that 10 per cent of all London jobs are linked to the food and drink sector in some way.
According to a mapping study of the capital’s food and drink production industry funded by the European Union, there are 870 businesses in London’s food and drink supply chain with a total estimated turnover of £3.3 billion. The same research also suggested that 94 per cent of the businesses in the sector are small and medium-sized enterprises with a turnover of less than £1 million each.
There are thousands of restaurants in the capital and thousands of food and drink outlets. West London Business estimates that eating out contributes £8 billion a year to London’s economy.
Different parts of London are famous for different kinds of food and drink.
West London has been a magnet for businesses in the food and drink sector for 80 years. According to West London Business, the local chamber of commerce, the sector employs 15,000 people in the area. There are 140 businesses involved in the food industry on the Park Royal Industrial Estate alone, employing 6,000 people. One of these is the recently opened Park Royal Food Innovation Centre, which supports the development of London’s small and medium-sized food and drink enterprises.
Sugar production has a long tradition in East London. Today, Tate & Lyle, with its Silvertown works, is the only cane sugar refiner in the UK. East London also has a strong brewing tradition. The Black Eagle brewery at 91 Brick Lane produced beer until 1989, the Albion brewery until 1959 and the Anchor Brewery in Mile End road until 1975. These days, East London is better known for its curry restaurants, particularly along Brick Lane.
North London is the chosen location for many small businesses active in food and drink processing. Enfield provides the home for London’s only flour mill, G. R. Wright & Sons, at Ponders End. North London Business, the local chamber of commerce, helps small and medium-sized enterprises in the area to network, meet new contacts and do business with each other through North London Food Linx.
South London is the base for a number of innovative businesses, such as Lambeth-based Today Was Fun, a supplier of organic teas. The company, founded by Sharyn Wortman, increased its international sales approximately ten-fold between 2005 and the end of 2007 and won the Best Newcomer award in UK Trade & Investment’s 2008 London Passport to Export Awards.
London Mayor Boris Johnson recently called on food businesses in London to step up efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. This followed the publication of a report commissioned by the Greater London Authority and the London Development Agency that found Londoners’ eating habits to be responsible for more greenhouse gases each year than the entire national output of Estonia.
The sector is responding. The vast majority of London’s food and drink production companies service local retailers and food services. Only a small proportion supply national retailers. One ‘green’ food business is Lambeth-based Today Was Fun, whose green tea was the first carbon neutral tea. That’s according to the CarbonNeutral Company, which carries out a simple calculation to establish how much carbon is produced in making and transporting the tea. The business neutralises its impact on the environment by buying carbon credits to cover emissions.
Part of the aim of the Park Royal Food Innovation Centre in West London is to promote sustainable local food and drink production. The centre, which opened in October 2009, acts as a hub for food processing companies in London, helping them to achieve growth by providing a range of specialist services which will encourage them to innovate in terms of new products, processes, packaging, healthy eating and sustainability.
Saving water is a big issue for London’s food and drink businesses. According to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the UK food and drink industry takes 430,000 cubic metres from the public water supply every day, accounting for approximately 10 per cent of all industrial use. It also takes about a tenth of all water abstracted from rivers and other water courses. This amounts to another 260,000 cubic metres a day.
Article from articlesbase.com
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