26. Jul 2019
A study conducted in 2016 by nova-Institute on behalf of the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) showed for the first time which macroeconomic effects are generated by the bioeconomy e.g. turnover and employment for the years 2008 and 2013.
An update of the study with 2014 and 2015 data was published in April 2018. Now, a new version of the report is available which spans the whole period from 2008 to 2016.
According to the report, the primary sectors (agriculture, forestry and fishery) as well as the food, beverage, tobacco and paper and paper products, can be considered fully bio-based and are thus fully accounted for in the bioeconomy. For other manufacturing sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and textiles, the bio-based shares were estimated and included in the assessment.
The analysis of the 2016 Eurostat data shows that the turnover of the total bioeconomy, including the food and beverage and primary sectors, resulted in 2.3 trillion EUR in the EU-28. Roughly half of the turnover is accounted for by the food and beverage sector, almost a quarter is generated by the primary sectors - agriculture and forestry. The other quarter is generated by the so-called bio-based industries, such as chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textiles, biofuels and bioenergy.
In 2016, the bioeconomy employed 18.6 million people in total. The primary biomass production, mainly agriculture plus forestry and fishery, generates a lot of employment (55%) but low turnover (20%). Furthermore, the data shows clear differences between groups of Member States: e.g. some Central & Eastern European countries e.g. Bulgaria, Poland and Romania are stronger in lower value-adding bioeconomy sectors but generate a lot of employment. In comparison, Western and Northern European countries generate a much higher turnover compared to employment. The countries with the highest ratio between turnover and employment are Belgium, Finland and Sweden.
As in the 2016 study, this update highlights the contribution of the often-underrated bio-based industries. These bio-based industries demonstrate a sizeable turnover of about 700 billion EUR and employ 3.6 million people in the EU-28 in 2016. In the bio-based chemical industry alone, turnover amounted to around 38 billion EUR. The data also demonstrated an overall slight increase in the bio-based share of the chemical industry in the EU-28 from about 5% in 2008 to 7% in 2016.