Food & Drink

A taste for success – a hunger for growth

Norfolk was the birthplace of the agricultural revolution and has been a major food and drink producing region ever since. Farming and food related industries, including the UK’s leading processors of pork, poultry, potatoes, sugar and malting barley, now employ more than 20% of the workforce. They have also nurtured the growth of specialist equipment manufacturers, who export globally, as well as our thriving crop-research and agri-tech cluster.


The county is home to familiar brands, like Bernard Matthews, Kettle Foods, and Colmans, but also has a thriving community of artisan food and drink creators. These include Gnaw Chocolate and Woodfordes Brewery, the award-winning Winbirri Vineyard and The English Whisky Company. Less well known, but as essential, are raw material processors, such as Simpsons Malt and Crisp Maltings who turn East Anglian barley into essential ingredients for brewers, distillers, bakers and cereal makers worldwide.

Commercial buyers from leading wholesalers and retailers get to meet many of these producers at the annual Local Flavours event, which highlights the wealth of talent in the Eastern Region.

As you might expect, the <Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering> sector in Norfolk includes companies that specialise in designing and building state-of-the-art equipment for the food and drink sector. They include Thurne-Middleby, one of the world’s leading suppliers of precision meat and cheese slicing machines. Other market leaders include Sinclair Systems, high-speed food labelling equipment, and Fabcon Food Systems, bespoke handling and processing equipment.

The sector’s strength and demand for new facilities from supply chain manufacturers and logistics companies has encouraged local authorities to establish the Greater Norwich Food Enterprise Zone. This is just one of 17 DEFRA designated zones in the UK and has in excess of 100 hectares available for development. It has strategic road links to London (A11), the Midlands (A47), the Felixstowe, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn ports, and Norwich International Airport. It is also conveniently close to the globally important biosciences cluster on <Norwich Research Park>. 

Discover investment opportunities in the food and drink industry, contact Locate Norfolk today.