The UK food and drink manufacturing sector is the largest and only growing manufacturing sector, with:

l £73 billion annual turnover

l 500,000 employees, over 80% of the which are in England

l 118,000 new people needed by 2014 - 40,000 of whom will be machine operators, 38,000 will be supervisors/managers, 16,000 will be skilled workers and 13,000 will be technical workers.

l In bakery, this translates to 96,000 currently employed, which equates to 25% of the total number of people involved in food and drink manufacturing

l England accounts for 82% of bakeries, with the north-west region hosting 17% of all workplaces, but 21% of all employees

l 88% of bakeries manufacture bread, cakes and pastries, with 12% manufacturing biscuits, rusks and preserved pastries