A growing sector in Europe and Portugal
The food sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Europe in recent times. According to the annual report - Data & Trends EU Food & Drink Industry 2019 - by FoodDrinkEurope, the food and drinks industry remains the largest production sector in terms of turnover, added value and jobs created. The numbers don't lie. With 1,192 billion euros generated, 2.1% gross added value, 4,7 million people employed and 294,000 active companies, this sector is clearly one of the main drivers of the European economy.
The food industry is a very diversified sector in which companies have various sizes, with SMEs generating almost half of the value of turnover, added value and providing two thirds of jobs in Europe. In Portugal, the curve is also upward, according to PORDATA statistical data. The Portuguese food and beverage industry is well positioned compared to other European countries having generated, in 2017, a turnover of 18.8 billion euros. It also had an added value of 3.3 billion euros, created 113.0 jobs (1,000) and 11,183 companies.
Open doors to digital
Given this reality, we are facing a good tide of opportunities to invest in the sector’s digitalization. In fact, 88% of companies in Europe are fully aware of the advantages that digital transformation has brought them and 59% have the necessary tools and skills to take advantage of those same advantages. In addition, 24% of companies that have seen good results with digitization reported an increase in the number of their employees.
On the road to a sustainable Europe
Even though the numbers are positive, there ar