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The German food sector

5.1 million employees, 619,000 businesses, 170,000 products.

The German food industry - that's more than five million people working in 619,000 companies who ensure that 85 million citizens in Germany and a large number of people around the world can enjoy safe, high-quality food every day.

The food industry, which is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises with numerous family businesses, ensures that 170,000 products are offered at affordable prices. It provides jobs for 11.4 percent of the workforce and consistently invests in the future of the labour market. Every year, the sector gives almost 145,900 apprentices a start in their careers.

Food industry - from the field to the plate

From the field to the plate: the food chain includes all steps from primary production to the consumer. While agriculture extracts the plant and animal raw materials, around 85 percent of these are processed by the food trade and industry into a diverse range of produced foods. The abundance of food produced reaches commercial and private consumers via food wholesalers, food retailers and handicraft businesses. Consumers also find a wide range of products outside the home, e.g. in restaurants and hotels, in hospitals and company canteens.


Food industry in numbers

An infographic with details on establishments, employment, apprentices and turnover in the individual sectors:

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