Food industry trade association FoodDrinkEurope has set up a website specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to promote their interests and emphasise the importance of food industry SMEs to the European economy.
FoodDrinkEurope says that SMEs represent 99.1% of the approximately 274,000 food and drink companies in Europe, accounting for 63% of total employment in the sector, and 48.7% of total industry turnover.
The trade body said the new site will help communicate the causes it supports on behalf of food and drink sector SMEs, such as simplifying policies; reducing administrative burdens in food science, health and nutrition, competitiveness and environmental sustainability; improving access to finance; developing research programmes; and facilitating SME access to international markets.
The site also includes a series of videos, including from Daniel Calleja Crespo, director general of DG Enterprise and Industry and special envoy for SMEs. He outlines strategies being used to support SMEs in the sector, and some of the particular difficulties that smaller companies are facing.
Access to finance is the biggest problem currently faced by SMEs, he says. In addition, internationalisation is an area of particular focus, as only one in eight SMEs exports outside the EU and only one in four does so in the internal market.
“There are huge possibilities and we need to be more active in this area,” he says.
FoodDrinkEurope defines SMEs according to the Eurostat definition, with ‘micro’ referring to a company with fewer than 10 employees, ‘small’ referring to those with 10 to 49 employees, and ‘medium’ referring to those with 50 to 249. A large company is defined as having 250 or more employees.
View the new website by clicking here .