Food & drink

The largest manufacturing sector in the UK

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Kent is leading the way for food and drink businesses

The food and drink industry generates £28.8bn a year to the UK economy and employs around 400,000 people. With Kent contributing £2.6bn of this total it’s not hard to see that food and drink is big business in the county.

With specialist trade bodies, such as Rural PLC and Produced in Kent supporting the industry, Kent makes an attractive offer to food technology and production businesses.

The taste of success

Some of the UK’s leading food and drink manufacturers, producers and distributors call Kent their home. Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, have been brewing in Faversham since 1698 and continue to produce award winning beers. Copper Rivet Distillery, based in Chatham Dockyard,  grow and produce the grain all in Kent.

The wine business is booming with Chapel Down, Gusbourne, Simpsons, Hush Heath and French brand, Taittinger, working from vineyards across Kent.

Pick of the crop

Kent’s farming sector is thriving, with some of the most productive agricultural land in Britain and total assets equating to approximately £5.4bn.

Known as the Garden of England, the county has a rich heritage and is renowned for its innovative approach and high-quality natural assets. Located near the coast at Ramsgate, the inspirationally named, Thanet Earth, is the largest greenhouse complex in the UK covering 220 acres of land, growing produce for some of Britain’s biggest retailers.

Highly skilled professionals work throughout the county. One of the world’s leading horticultural innovation and research establishments, NIAB EMR, is based in Kent, along with three universities offering related courses and specialist land-based educational facility, Hadlow College.

Direct links to London and European markets

Thanks to Kent’s geographic location and direct links to London and European markets, Kent offers a strong supply and distribution infrastructure, meaning it has the potential to lead the way in taking the food and drink industry forward.

Download our Food & Drink brochure for more information on how you could grow your business in Kent.

Key advice and support for:



Skills advice


Highly-skilled sector specialists

Government Department of International Trade


Marketing & PR

Find out how these businesses benefit by locating in Kent

Read more about the support we offer to Kent’s food and drink sector in our free brochures

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Speak to one of our advisors now to find out how our Plus service can help you

Karima Kamel, Business Development Executive
Direct: +44 (0)1732 520700
Mobile: 07552 217 917