Wholesale industry reveals full UK economic contribution

The full extent of how wholesalers help to support the UK economy will be unveiled tomorrow (November 4) at a House of Commons reception hosted by Defra minister George Eustice.

The Whole Story: Wholesale Distribution, The High Street, Consumers and the National Economy, underlines the scale of the sector too long under-appreciated by policy makers compared to the national supermarket and restaurant chains.  

The industry in fact turns over annual revenues of £30bn, generates £2.8bn of gross value added annually, with around £460m in taxation paid to the exchequer each year.

The channel’s partnerships with local shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels support more than 1.1 million jobs in the UK – almost two and half times as many as Tesco, and more than the next four largest supermarkets combined.

The report details how members of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) supply and support 72,000 retail grocery stores and 330,000 food service businesses. It also highlights that as well as employing 66,000 people directly, wholesalers support 123,000 jobs in the upstream supply chain. In addition, report author Capital Economics estimates that there are around 540,000 retail jobs and 350,000 food service/catering jobs in businesses supplied with goods provided by the food and drink wholesale distribution industry.

FWD chief executive James Bielby said:Food and drink wholesale distributors play a vital role in the economic and social health of the United Kingdom, providing and supporting jobs in all regions of the nation and ensuring that essential provisions are available to all. They supply and support more than 400,000 businesses and ensure the public has a choice of places to eat in their high street and vibrant, independently-owned shops in their neighbourhood.

“Our members make an essential contribution to the success of those small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the UK economy. In a retail and catering sector where the largest players have historically had the loudest voice, this report redresses the imbalance by demonstrating the enormous value of wholesale distributors and their supply chain partners in improving consumer choice.”

For for details from the report plus industry and stakeholder comment don’t miss the November issue of Wholesale News out next week

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