5.1.4 Agrifood EHS Analysis
The agrifood industry is the largest manufacturing sector in Europe. According to the European Technology Platform Food for Life (ETP, 2008) ‘the agricultural sector employs over 11 million people (2.3% of the population of the enlarged EU)’ and ‘the food and drink industry had a turnover of 810 billion euro in 2004, transforming over 70% of the EU’s agricultural raw materials and employing over 4 million people, the majority within the SMEs sector.’
Regarding nanotechnology, many different national and regional programmes dedicated to agrifood are already underway or under development. Estimates vary for the number of companies involved in nanotechnology and agrifood global markets. For example, Cientifica estimates that 400 companies are applying nanotechnology to food at present, but points to difficulties in measuring the full scale of development because many companies regard their nanotech R&D products as sensitive, and the Helmut Kaiser Consultancy estimates that the global nanofood market will be worth 20.4 billion USD in 2010.
To appraise fully the potential EHS issues associated with this broad sector, this report divides nanotechnology in agrifood into three subsectors: agricultural production; food processing and functional food; and food packaging and distribution.
The full text of the Agrifood Technology Sector EHS Analysis may be downloaded as a pdf from the 'Related Documents' section at the bottom of this page.
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