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European SME Week: Small and Medium-sized Food and Drink Companies Driving Growth in Europe

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European SME Week: Small and Medium-sized Food and Drink Companies Driving Growth in Europe

European SME Week: Small and Medium-sized Food and Drink Companies Driving Growth in Europe
November 25
11:10 2013

On the occasion of this year’s European SME week, FoodDrinkEurope wishes to underline the value of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the European economy. Europe’s food and drink industry (the largest manufacturing industry in the EU in terms of turnover and employment), is highly fragmented in nature, comprising more than 287,000 companies, the overwhelming majority of which are SMEs (99.1%).

One of FoodDrinkEurope’s key priorities is to develop the competitiveness of Europe’s food and drink SMEs by placing a special emphasis on their specific needs and ensuring a better regulatory framework. FoodDrinkEurope is also tracking the application of the Small Business Act (SBA) and targeting actions on behalf of SMEs. The 2011 review of the SBA rightly highlighted a number of policy areas, four of which are particularly relevant to the European food and drink industry and need to be further addressed.

These areas include:

* Facilitating easier access to finance;

* Promoting access to international markets;

* Reducing regulatory and administrative burdens; and,

* Promoting entrepreneurship and responding to needs for skilled workforce.

Speaking on the occasion of European SME Week, FoodDrinkEurope President, Jesús Serafín Pérez (pictured), who is himself the CEO of an SME, said: “FoodDrinkEurope wishes to highlight the crucial role played by SMEs not only in the food and drink sector, but in the wider European economy. These companies form the backbone of the food and drink sector in Europe and are playing an important role in driving Europe’s economic recovery. FoodDrinkEurope is working in close collaboration with other stakeholders towards the development of a food sector-specific industrial policy which will take into account the specific needs and concerns of SMEs in the sector.”

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