The production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, energy, chemicals and other materials is referred to as the bioeconomy. It includes primary production from farming, forestry and aquaculture, as well as the use of biological raw materials by industry sectors such as food and drink, chemical and energy.
There is a global move away from our current dependence on products manufactured from oil and gas, in favour of bio-based products. This shift is driven by the need for more sustainable economic growth, technological advances and consumer pressure. This is creating new markets for bio-based products and driving investment and growth in bio-based industries and technologies. The importance of the growing bioeconomy is increasingly recognised by industry, policy-makers and funders.
Across Europe, the bioeconomy has an annual turnover of € 2 trillion and employs around 9% of the workforce. In the UK, the country’s bioeconomy is estimated to be worth around £220 billion per annum. Around 10 % of the UK’s bioeconomy is based in Yorkshire and the Humber, where goods and products from the bioeconomy are currently valued at almost £18 billion. BioVale is working to help the region realise this potential and capitalise on new opportunities from the bioeconomy in order to generate investment, high-quality jobs and environmental gains.
Food production is the priority for agricultural land use but, with the help of continued innovation, we can use agricultural land to deliver both food security and renewable raw materials. BioVale supports a bioeconomy that does not reduce the resources available for food production. We focus on the use of biowastes and on high-value, low-volume products from plants that only need relatively small areas of farmland.
Through its emphasis on sustainability, resource efficiency and obtaining value from waste, the bioeconomy makes an important contribution to the circular economy.