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Fruit and vegetables

The UK fruit and vegetables sub-sector includes: the processing and preserving of potatoes; manufacture of fruit and vegetable juice; and the processing and preserving of fruit and vegetables not elsewhere classified. The sub- sector employs over 33,600 people in more than 400 workplaces. 58% of staff work in organisations of between 1 and 10 staff, and 12% work in organisations of over 200 staff.

The sub-sector has experienced the smallest decline in employment levels 2000-2007 (-5%) of all the sectors within the food and drink manufacturing sector.

Workforce statistics:

  • 65% of the workforce is male.
  • 63% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • Only 29% of the workforce is aged 16-29 years, 45% 30-50 years and 26% is aged 50 plus years.
  • 93% of the workforce is from a white ethnic group, and 7% is of Asian or Asian British ethnic group or from other ethnic minority backgrounds.
  • 7% of the current sub-sector workforce has some form of work-limiting disability.
  • 4% of the workforce is self-employed.
  • 14% of the workforce has a degree or equivalent qualification, 4% a Higher Education qualification, 10% A levels or equivalent, 28% GCSE or equivalent, 28% has other qualifications and 15% has no qualifications.

Source: Fruits and vegetables Labour Market information profile 2009/10


Fruit and vegetables workforce by region, 2000 and 2007

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Source: Fruit and vegetables Labour Market information profile 2009/10, page 2. Data derived from the Annual Business Inquiry 2000 and 2007.

Occupational profile of the fruit and vegetables workforce, 2008

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Source: Fruits and vegetables Labour Market information profile 2009/10, page 6. Data derived from the Labour Force Survey 2008.