Thursday, May 6, 2010


Reliable statistics are the corner stone of any realistic planning at micro and macro levels of management. It is unfortunate that in many developing countries such statistics are invariably concocted without any data collection using scientific survey techniques. Look at countries like the US, the EU, Japan, Australia, Canada etc where centralized and computerized data are compiled and available for the public. Of course there are private consultancy firms which make money by trend analysis and forecasting based on the public data or their own survey efforts. Here is a publication on the European Food and Beverage Industry worth reading.

"Data & Trends of the European Food and Drink Industry 2009, available here , places the industry's 2008 turnover at €965bn, a 3 per cent increase on 2007. This positions it as the single largest manufacturing sector in Europe, making up almost 13 per cent of the overall manufacturing industry, with the automobile and chemical industries following with 11 and 10 per cent respectively.The food and drink industry also leads the way in terms of employment, but labour productivity is lower than for manufacturing as a whole, reveals the report. The latest statistics available, for 2008, show that the industry employs 4.4m people, making it the leading employer in the EU at 13.5 per cent of the employment market. CIAA highlights 2006 statistics on labour productivity, which indicate €7,500 investment per employee in food and drink manufacturing, compared to €11,500 in automobile and €14,000 in chemicals".

Food industry in Europe is a predominant player in the economic development of the continent and it speaks well about its contribution to the welfare of the population. The lower productivity of the personnel in this industry may be due the inherent nature of the processing operations that call for a high degree of vigilance against food related health risks but this is more than compensated by the lower investment per employee. Also to be remembered is that food industry deals with products of day to day necessity and are low priced due to stiff competition unlike automobile or chemical industry..


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