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Food is the largest segment of industry in Spain, accounting for 20.5% of total sales

Gema Boiza. Journalist. @GemaBoiza

The food and beverage sector is Spain's largest branch of industry, accounting for 20.5% of net sales of products, 18.4% of employed persons, 14.9% of investment in tangible assets and 15.1% of added value. These are some of the sector's key figures, according to the most recent Industrial Companies Survey, published by Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE).

This data also reveals that the activities with the greatest contribution to industrial sector net sales in 2012 were food and beverages (20.5%), metallurgy and metal product manufacturing (12.1%), and motor vehicles and transport materials (11.9%).

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, net sales of food and beverage sector products totaled 90.168 billion euros in 2012, up 1.7% with respect to 2011 (88.673 billion euros).

Of that total, meat products ranked first with net sales of 19.499 billion euros in 2012 (21.6%), followed by animal feed (10%), fats and oils (9.3%) and dairy products (9.2%).

The fruit and vegetable preserve and wine segments obtained sales of 7.155 and 5.711 billion euros, respectively, accounting for 7.9% and 6.4% of food industry product net sales. The food industry ranked fifth internationally in terms of sales value, behind Germany, France, Italy and the UK.

According to the most recent INE data, there are 28,731 companies in the food industry, of which 10,558 are associated with bread, baked goods and pasta (36.7%), 4,036 with meat products (14.0%), and 4,036 with wine (14.0%).

By region, there are 5,301 companies in Andalusia (18.5%), 3,408 in Catalonia (11.9%), 3,074 in Castile-León (10.7%), and 2,391 in Castile-La Mancha (8.3%).

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