Usage of bio-based raw materials in Flemish economy grows

Between 2016 and 2020, the added value of the Flemish bioeconomy - economic activities that use biological resources - increased by 21 per cent. During the same period, the total physical Flemish economy, excluding services, grew by only 6 per cent. In 2020, 34 per cent of the total physical Flemish economy was based on non-fossil fuels, compared to 30 per cent in 2016.

The information was revealed on Tuesday in the annual economic monitoring study by the Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Research (ILVO) and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). Data from 2019 and part of 2020 have been included in the latest update.

The study analyses the development of the bio-based share in the various sectors of the full bioeconomy, such as agriculture and forestry. It also looks at hybrid bioeconomy sectors that only partially use biological resources, such as pharmaceuticals (48 per cent bio-based), leather (41 per cent), clothing and textiles (both 35 per cent).

Multi-billion increase

The preliminary figures show that in 2020, the Flemish bioeconomy had a total added value of €16.5 billion (compared to €15.7 billion in 2019) and a turnover of €62.5 billion (compared to €60.8 billion in 2019).

The Flemish food sector was the largest bio-economic sector in 2020 in terms of value added (5.5 billion euros), turnover (31.3 billion euros) and employment (65,432 persons employed). The bio-based pharmaceutical sector generated the second largest value added (3.6 billion euro) and the highest value added per employee (606,000 euro).



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