Bioeconomy in figures

€2.1 trillion

In 2013, the European bioeconomy generated an estimated turnover of around €2.1 trillion. Almost half of the turnover came from the food and beverage sectors. The other half was generated by agriculture and forestry and the bio-based industries (chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textiles and textile products, biofuels and bioenergy). On their own, the bio-based industries generated a turnover of €600 billion. Biofuels and bioenergy accounted for 15% of this, whilst the largest share came from the paper and paper products sector (30%), followed closely by the forest-based industry, which includes wood products and furniture (27%).


18.3 million people

In 2013, the European bioeconomy employed 18.3 million people. Around 10.6 million people were employed in the primary sector, 4.5 million people in the food, beverages and tobacco sector and 3.2 million in the bio-based industries. Within the bio-based industries, the strongest performing sectors were the forest- based industry, paper and paper products and the textile industry. It is interesting to note that the primary sector, despite accounting for a comparatively high share of the total employment, had a relatively low turnover.

Read the full report by Piotrowski, Carus and Carrez, March 2016.