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Animal feeds

The animal feed sector employs 13,200 people in around 600 workplaces. It includes the manufacture of prepared feeds for farm animals and the manufacture of prepared pet foods.

The animal feed sub-sector represents 3% of those employed in Great Britain’s food and drink manufacturing sector. 62% of the workforce is employed in the manufacture of ‘Feeds for Farm Animals’ and the remaining 38% work within ‘Pet Foods’. 1% of businesses employ 200 or more staff, whilst 60% employ 10 or less staff.

Jobs in the sector range from: production manager, quality assurance manager, buyer, line leader, packer

Workforce statistics:

  • 71% of the workforce is male.
  • 98% of the workforce is white
  • More than 1,000 migrant workers (non-UK nationals) are estimated to be working in the sector.
  • 20% of the workforce is aged 20-24 years, 17% is aged 40-44 years and 18% is 45-49 years.
  • 10% of the workforce has some form of disability.
  • 47% of the current workforce will be eligible for retirement within the next 20 years.
  • 15% of the workforce has a degree or equivalent qualification.
  • The highest qualification for majority of the workforce is GCSE grades A-C (26%) or A Levels (27%).
  • 7% of the workforce has no qualifications.
  • 62% of the workforce is employed full-time.

The incidence of skills gaps is highest amongst process, plant and machine operatives, elementary occupations, and managers.

Source: Improve AACS LMI report 2010 and Manufacture of prepared animal feed Labour Market information profile 2009/10


Animal feeds workforce by region, 2000 and 2007

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Source: Manufacture of prepared animal feed Labour Market information profile 2009/10, page 2. Data derived from the Annual Business Inquiry 2000 and 2007.

Occupational profile of the animal feeds workforce, 2008

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Source: Manufacture of prepared animal feed Labour Market information profile 2009/10, page 6. Data derived from the Labour Force Survey 2008.