Setting up a Food Board and its own water supply are ideas included in an ambitious plan for the food sector by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
New targets have also been set out in the Greater Lincolnshire Agri-food Sector Plan [PDF] for 2014-2020.
Within the plan, it’s explained that the greater Lincolnshire area is a market leader in the agri-food sector, with 10% of English agriculture, 5% of UK food processing jobs and 70% of the UK fish processing sector being in the county.
However, the LEP wants to double its contribution to the economy by 2030 by investing in skills, knowledge and production capacity within the sector.
In addition, it will build an industry-led Food Board and its own 25-year water supply plan to support food production and investment in transport infrastructure.
Mark Tinsley, a south Lincolnshire arable farmer and sector lead for the plan at the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “Greater Lincolnshire is fortunate to be home to the UK’s largest and most progressive food sector, with dynamic businesses and well developed supply chains.
“Our agri-food sector is truly a national leader in this rapidly growing sector, but we must not rest on our laurels.
“The coming decades will bring many challenges and it’s important that Greater Lincolnshire is ready to face them.
“Our plan for the agri-food sector in Greater Lincolnshire is ambitious, but we are confident that it is achievable.”
The document sets out a three-point plan: reinforcing Greater Lincolnshire’s status as the national centre for high value agri-food production, increasing the sector’s GVA (gross value added) by 25% per employee and a 30% rise in grow sector output.
By 2030, the LEP expects to see doubled output and GVA, increased employment by over 10% and GVA per employee by over 75% and better transport links meaning imports are replaced by Lincolnshire produce by 10%.
The plan will be sent to local businesses shortly in order to get feedback.