Small Scale, Big Impact: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises at the heart of Europe’s food and drink industry

There are 289,000 food and drink companies in Europe and 9 in 10 are Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). These companies are present in every region and stand for both tradition and innovation in our industry. They produce a vast range of foods and drinks, satisfying the diverse and constantly changing needs of Europe’s 500 million consumers, as well as of customers worldwide.

Food and drink SMEs are a pillar of their communities, employing mostly local manpower – nearly 2.8 million workers, i.e. enough jobs for the entire population of Lithuania. They source their raw materials mostly from Europe. This makes them essential actors in our economy.

In order to celebrate and promote their culture, tradition and contribution to growth, FoodDrinkEurope launched a new initiative entitled ‘Small Scale, Big Impact’. The launch event took place on Thursday 24 November, during the European SME Week. 

The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, was the keynote speaker and welcomed the participants and SME representatives who presented their products and shared their experience with policy-makers.

The “Small scale, big impact” project is supported by a website which presents individual companies from various Member States and sectors, who share their experience, challenges and successes via videos and testimonials. The project will promote further dialogue with food and drink SMEs and help ensure that their preoccupations and needs are taken into consideration as part of a European sector policy.

The successful launch event, which had a great turnout and generated an impressive twitter buzz, with the event hashtag reaching 2nd place as a twitter trending topic,  was followed by a roundtable with the contributing SMEs, relevant Commission services and national and sector associations representatives, held at FoodDrinkEurope premises.

Explore the SMEs’ “Small scale, big impact” stories here and view some highlights from the event below.