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Food and drink manufacturing

Food and drink manufacturing

The food and drink manufacturing sector is the largest industrial manufacturing sector in the UK with over 7,000 businesses at around 10,000 sites.

Food and drink businesses use large amounts of water and energy and produce a lot of waste. While generally well managed, uncontrolled releases of raw materials and odours from food and drink processing operations can have a significant impact on the environment and local communities.

The guidance on these pages will help food and drink businesses to manage their environmental impacts and comply with legislation.

Resource efficiency
The food and drink sector is the third largest industrial user of water. Using water and energy wisely and reducing waste are good for business and the environment.

Pollution prevention
There are several serious pollution incidents caused by raw material spills, noise and odour from food processing every year particularly among small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Waste management
Large volumes of waste are generated by the food and drink sector. There are many opportunities for reducing waste and improving the recovery of raw materials while minimising environmental impacts.

Regulation for larger producers
Food and drink companies need an environmental permit to operate if they carry out certain activities above set numerical thresholds.

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