Cornwall’s burgeoning agri-food sector is worth some £1.4 billion to the local economy, latest research shows.
The report, commissioned by Cornwall Development Company (CDC) and undertaken by University of Exeter’s Centre for Rural Policy Research and Cornwall Food & Drink, says the sector accounts for about 18% of Cornwall’s GDP.
It also reports that, in terms of employment, the combined agriculture and food and drink sectors are twice as important in Cornwall as they are on average nationally and account for 63,700 food-related jobs – almost 30% of all jobs in the county.
Other headline figures to come from the report include the fact that £50 million of Cornish beef is sold out of county each year, while the Duchy produces 600 million litres of milk annually and accounts for a quarter of the UK potato supply!
Commenting on the findings of the report, David Rodda, CDC’s rural delivery manager said: “It is clear from the studies that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have an incredibly strong, vibrant and important agri-food industry; however, no-one should be complacent at the current time.
“It is therefore great to be able to identify numerous examples of innovative ideas and ways in which Cornwall can continue to develop its agriculture and food and drink businesses, some of which could offer the chance for us to be UK and even global leaders in certain spheres.
“The key thing is that we don’t allow the opportunities to pass us by, so I will be working hard with Cornwall Agri-food Council and partners such as Cornwall Food & Drink, to establish a strategy that capitalises on our strengths and continues to build real value into the sector to protect it in the longer term.”