The East Riding is home to over 2,000 agriculture and food manufacturing businesses, employing over 8,000 people and contributing to a quarter of the Yorkshire and Humber region’s agricultural GVA.
From fishing to farming, the local area has provided a livelihood for many past generations as well as offering strong prospects moving forward.
In recent years, these thriving industries have prompted a cluster of local innovation and research facilities, presenting the East Riding with a significant growth opportunity for the future.
The bioeconomy is all about creating credible, low-carbon options to our current fossil-fuel based economy. It refers to industries that use renewable biological resources from the land and sea, converting them into new products such as food, animal feed, energy or materials.
The North has a large and thriving bioeconomy, with over 16,000 bioeconomy-related companies located here and an annual total annual turnover of over £91 billion. For our Yorkshire area, the figures read GVA £8.7 billion and employment of 105,000 people, most of which are employed in the fishing and food sectors.
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The fishing industry
The seafood-rich waters of Holderness and the North Sea coast have provided trade for many generations of local people in the East Riding. In fact, few regions in Britain can claim a longer continuous engagement in fishing as here, with some of the world’s best crab, lobster and shellfish.
Fishing is carried out from harbours and beaches along the coast including Bridlington, Flamborough, Hornsea, Tunstall and Withernsea. With the accolade of ‘lobster capital of Europe’, Bridlington is the UK’s biggest shellfish port and lands more lobsters than anywhere else on the entire continent.
Agriculture is a further sector of importance in the East Riding area. In total, the region has 1,856 holdings, with a total farming area of 204,191 hectares. Of this farmed area, 52% is for cereals, 21% for arable crops, 4% for fruit and vegetables and 15% grassland (DEFRA, 2016).
The total local employment figures in agriculture stands at around 6,000 people, including farmers, partners, regular workers and casual workers.
Food manufacturing and processing
A healthy source of revenue and employment, the food manufacturing and processing industries in the East Riding ensure the preparation of food products for sale and consumption. From ingredient sourcing to processing, preservation and packaging, the East Riding area has approximately 80 businesses operating in this subsector, employing around 2,600 individuals.
These stats include firms that operate within the processing and preserving of meat, fruit and vegetables and fish as well as the manufacturing of food, such as dairy products, bakery, oils and fats. Local businesses include Primepak Foods, St Quintin’s Creamery, Skidby Windmill, Cranswick Plc, Hughes Mushrooms and JSR Farms.