Competitiveness of the EU dairy industry

Competitiveness of the EU dairy industry


Table 5.11 Key figures of the dairy industry in the UK

Micro-firms Small and





All firms

Firms Number 349 168 17 534

Share (%) 65 31 3 100

Turnover €m, 182 3,400 6,315 9,896

Share (%) 2 34 64 100

Employees Number 1,164 9,846 17,897 28,907

Share (%) 4 34 62 100

Innovations Number 4 32 47 83

Share 5 39 57 100

Source: Eurostat SBS data 2005, Innovation own database linked to Amadeus.

Small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) are frequently mentioned as a main

source for innovations. In our research, we linked the innovative firms with the

business data from Amadeus. We selected a total of 265 specialised dairy processors

(NACE da155): among 21 we registered innovations. Almost half of the

large firms (2% of all firms) are innovative, with over 50% of registered innovations

of all firms (table 5.12). From the SMEs 20% (13 out of 65) are innovative.

The large firms have on average 9.4 innovations per firm, the small and medium

sized 2.5. In this respect the largest firms contribute most to innovations. This

analysis suggests that all firms need to be innovative, which in reality is not the

case. For instance, some (often medium-sized) companies that focus on producing

private labels, have to follow the market closely, but do not need to develop

new products - they copy. However, from the point of view of the promotion of

innovations, small as well as large companies are important.

Table 5.12 Innovation and performance

Firm category Micro Small & medium Large Total

Innovative Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No

Firms 3 186 13 52 5 6 21 244

Innovations 4 - 32 - 47 - 83 -

Source: Innovation own database and profit margin from Amadeus.

Despite the a priori expectations no clear relation between the number of innovations

and profit margins can be found. Figure 5.5 shows a large distribution

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