Growth in the agri-food sector in Greater Lincolnshire is important not only locally, but for the whole of the UK.
The agri-food sector combines agriculture and food manufacturing with a strong focus on agri-tech (robotics) and the supply chain. Greater Lincolnshire has an international reputation for food, fish, and farming and has one of the largest concentrations of food manufacturing, research, storage and distribution areas in Europe.
Our region is responsible for growing 30% of the nation's vegetables and producing 18% of the poultry, with a total agricultural output of over £2bn in 2019, representing 12% of England’s total production. This strength in agriculture is replicated in food processing, with the UK’s largest fish processing cluster located on the Humber, the centre of the UK’s fresh produce industry in South Lincolnshire and major arable, poultry and meat processors spread right across the area.
In total the food chain provides 24% of jobs throughout Greater Lincolnshire (as compared with just 13% nationally) and 21% of its economic output (7% nationally).
The future of the food chain is therefore absolutely vital to Lincolnshire and its population, and we are strategically important to national food security.
Boasting more Grade 1 agricultural land than any other LEP in England, the Greater Lincolnshire agri-food sector will double its contribution to the economy by 2030 through an ambitious programme of investment in productive capacity, skills and knowledge to drive an increase in high- value- added sales to UK and export markets.
By supporting partners through the creation three unique and complementary Food Enterprise Zones, the LEP continues to strengthen Greater Lincolnshire's core position in the agri-tech sector.
Our Food Board also continues to drive activity through the development of a UK Food Valley ecosystem which, in addition to the Food Enterpise Zones, will unite the food industry, food supply chain, technology suppliers, and government and academia to position our food cluster hub as a world-class investment location. This includes:
Fisheries and aquaculture; farmers and horticultural producers; food producers and manufacturers; food storage, logistics and distributors; input suppliers to the industry e.g. machinery, technology, packaging, fertilisers, etc.; professional advisors to the industry e.g. accountants, lawyers, consultants; research, innovation and skills providers.
HIGHLIGHTS AND KEY PROJECTS
- View our Agri-Food Sector plan here.
- We are developing the UK Food Valley, with the South Lincolnshire FEZ situated at the heart of the project. Watch the webinar showcasing the project below.
- The LEP has been a significant enabler in the development of a specialist Centre of Excellence for the Agri-food Industry through the Single Local Growth Fund and EU Funding, with a focus on higher level skills, agri-tech, and food manufacturing research. The aim of this facility is to strengthen research, technological development and innovation in Lincolnshire’s agri-food industry to aid competitiveness. Once complete, the centre will act as a gateway for collaboration between the university and local industry, strengthening partnerships and contributing to regional competitiveness.
- We have supported partners to bid for three unique and complementary Food Enterprise Zones, strengthening Greater Lincolnshire's position as a key player in the agri-tech sector.
- The University of Lincoln now has the largest agri-food robotics team in Europe and their innovative work is testing how robots can be used to undertake repetitive manual tasks freeing staff to add more value and to focus on more complex procedures.