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 which is why we are branding this unique opportunity as the UK Food Valley to position its UK leading food sector as a Top 10 Global Food Cluster.

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 also with us 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 supports around 75,000 food sector roles; 18% of all jobs in the area compared to 4% of the UK workforce, and so the future of the food chain is absolutely vital to Lincolnshire and its population, and positions us as strategically important to national food security.

The UK Food Valley will support the growth and encourage inward investment through promoting the scale, diversity and importance of the food sector to the area, and by ensuring that existing food sector companies and new investors are supported.

At the heart of this unique offer lie our food clusters, where the concentration is even higher, for example in the South Holland District which focuses on fresh produce and logistics, it represents a massive 42% of the local workforce. With specialisms and opportunities across the seafood & aquaculture, low carbon cool chains, and controlled-environment fresh produce sub-sectors, gives us a unique competitive advantage and huge investment opportunities. 

The UK Food Valley supports Europe’s largest Agri-food technology automation and robotics cluster and businesses investing in automation, a test-bed for investors endorsed by the DIT through a High Potential Opportunity (HPO) for Automation in Food Processing.  Automation will create more highly skilled jobs, benefitting industry and making the food chain a career of choice for aspirational young people. 

We are the world's first centre of doctoral training in Agri-Robotics in Lincoln, in partnership with UEA and Cambridge Universities. The University of Lincoln, NCFM and Grimsby Institute already partner with industry to deliver education and training from apprenticeships to degrees and PhDs, whilst the University of Lincoln brings additional excellence in AI, Big Data, Robotics & Automation, and Internet of Things can enable business digitalisation, to boost productivity and sustainability.

The UK Food Valley is leading efforts to reduce carbon emissions from food production by using new technology and skills, new energy sources and production processes, to reduce carbon emissions from food production, processing, transport and storage.

The UK Food Valley was initiated by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP supported by industry partners. By maximising collaboration across industry, universities, colleges and local business groups, we support our food companies by ensuring the conditions for growth are provided.

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, combined with low carbon supply chairs, through the UK Food Valley. 

To find out more register for the LEP Conference featuring the UK Food Valley launch on 2nd November at the Lincolnshire Showground here.