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The European bio-economy reached a turnover of € 2.3 trillion in 2016 and accounts for 18.6 million jobs, according to a study published today (July 26) by the German nova Institute on behalf of the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).
Editorial office / Brussels

The study is based on Eurostat data and highlights how the value of the bio-economy develops between 2008 – 2016. It is an update from an earlier study from 2018.

About half of the total turnover in the European bio-economy is generated by the food and beverage sector, almost a quarter is generated by the primary sectors: agriculture, forestry and fishing. They are responsible for more than half of employment. Many people work in these sectors, especially in Central and Eastern European countries, but labor productivity is relatively low.

The biobased industry in Europe accounts for the remaining quarter of the total turnover: around € 700 billion, accounting for 3.6 million jobs. This includes chemicals and plastics, pharmaceutical products, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textiles, biofuels and bioenergy. Sales in the biobased chemical industry alone amounted to approximately € 38 billion. The data also showed an overall slight increase in the bio-based share of the chemical industry in the EU-28 from around 5% in 2008 to 7% in 2016.

The research report can be downloaded on the website of the Bio-based Industries Consortium.