DEFRA’s Food Statistics Pocketbook 2014 was published earlier this month — and an interesting read its 60-odd pages are too.
Below are listed of the key factoids from their summary:
- The total consumer spend on food, drink and catering is £196 billion, of which £112 billion is, according to these stats, household expenditure, and £84 billion on ‘catering services’ — what’s everything from hospital meals and motorway service stations to your local chippie or curry house through to Michelin-starred restaurants.
- In supplying all this — and food exports — is a sector contributing £96.9 billion or 7.1% to the national GVA in 2012, and 3.6M or 13% of national employment.
Food Supply & Prices
- Food prices have risen 18% in real terms since 2007.
- Median income after housing costs fell 13% between 2002-03
and 2012-13 for low income decile households. In 2011-12,
all other incomes groups saw decreases in median income of
between 0.8% and 3.3%.
- In 2012, 24 countries together accounted for 90% of UK
food supply. Just over half of this (53%) was supplied
domestically from within the UK.
- The total value of food and drink exports rose slightly in 2013
to £18.9 billion, £6.0 billion more than in 2005 measured in
Environment and Waste
- In 2012, total domestic CO2 emissions from food and drink manufacturing fell 2.2% on 2011.
- Estimated total UK food and drink waste is around 15 million tonnes per year, with households generating 7mt/year of which 4.2 is avoidable (i.e. fit to eat).
- The average UK household spend on food that could have been eaten but is thrown away is £470 a year.
- In 2012 local authorities were collecting over 5 times as much food waste for recycling as they were in 2007.
Health & Food Safety
- Fruit and vegetable consumption is falling. The lowest 10% of households by income purchase the least fruit and vegetables at an average of 2.9 portions per person per day in 2012, 11% less than in 2007.
- In England in 2012 the obesity rate across all adults was 25%, with a further 37% overweight.
- High level incidents dealt with by the FSA in 2013 included an investigation into horse and pig DNA in beef products; two E.coli O157 outbreaks linked to watercress and Caribbean soft fruit drink contaminated with cocaine, which caused one fatality.
- In May 2014 the main food issue of concern to respondents was food prices at 51%, a decrease from 59% in May 2013.