Food processing

Who doesn't like a great meal? Well, let's go even further as the food and beverage production sector provides investors with a full range of opportunities for success, including a robust supply chain, an experienced workforce and high quality standards. Domestic producers can also effectively track quality of their products, from ingredients, through production and transit, to market — enabling production of fresh and natural foods that consumers seek. 

You can find our food products not only all throughout Europe but also in USA, Canada, Japan and many other parts of the world. So don't be surprised if you will see our rye bread, cereal, curd snacks, beer and many other delicious things in large and small stores accross the globe. 

Main subsectors

Dairy products, fish processing, meat and egg production, grains and baked goods, fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, and confectionaries. Beverage production includes juices, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, mineral and drinking water, beer and other alcohol products.

Fast facts

  • We know that our food is the best in the world! Need a proof of that? Majority of production is consumed locally. So, whenever you get a chance to find some Latvian produce in foreign countries, grab it immediately as it is "limited edition". 
  • Food production and processing sector is important to us as it produces more than 20% of total manufacturing output.
  • We are proud of our healthy, fresh, local products as vast territories of arable land provides opportunities for locally grown produce.

Industry leaders

  • Dobeles Dzirnavnieks is one of the leading grain processors in the Baltic's and the largest pasta producer in Northern Europe. Dobeles Dzirnavnieks operates in grain purchasing, processing and storing with storage capacity of 230 000 tons of grain. The company produces all types of flour and flour mixes, pasta, cereal flakes, and organic products. 
  • Food Union is the largest dairy company in Latvia, as well as the leading ice cream producer in the Baltic States. The FOOD UNION group unites two major dairy and ice cream producers in Latvia – RĪGAS PIENA KOMBINĀTS and VALMIERAS PIENS amongst other companies outside Latvia. Until the end of 2020 the company plans to develop technologically the most advanced platform in Latvia, with investing more than 11 million in infrastructure and innovations. 
  • ORKLA Confectionary & Snacks – Orkla Latvija unites two companies – “Orkla Foods Latvija” and “Orkla Confectionary & Snacks Latvija”. The companies manufacture food supplements, snacks and confectionery. Orkla Latvija is part of the Norwegian concern Orkla, a leading consumer brand in the Nordic and Baltic region. 
  • Latvijas balzams is a leading producer of alcohol beverages in the Baltics with a history steeped in tradition since 1900. Latvijas balzams is represented in all segments of strong and light alcoholic beverages with more than 100 product names. It is also the producer of such globally-known brands as Stolichnaya®, Moskovskaya®, Riga Black Balsam® and Riga Sparkling Wine®. 
  • Balticovo has been operating since 1972 and is currently the largest producer of eggs and egg products in Northern Europe – their chickens lay more than 600 million eggs a year. The company's products are available in retail shops, hotels, and restaurants, and about 70% of the products are exported to several European Union and other countries in the world – a total of 20 countries.

Industry statistics

  • We love a great meal and it better be from local products. Food and beverage production is one of the largest industrial sectors in Latvia. The food industry sector produced 22% of the total output in manufacturing (2019). 
  • Nowadays we all know the importance of locally grown food also from the environmental point of view. Around 13% of Latvia’s territory is agricultural land, and most ingredients are locally grown – providing producers a robust and efficient supply chain. 
  • If you see some Latvian food products outside Latvia, be it sweets, bread, cereals, curd snacks, beer, drinks or something else, grab it and better take not only one but two or three packagings to share with friends and family. As you have the chance to taste something of a "limited edition"! That is because the sector is mainly focused on serving the local market. The export of the sector amounts to 0.6 billion EUR and comprises 4.8% of Latvia’s total exports in 2018. Currently around 60% of food sector output is consumed locally. 
  • Who are the biggest connoisseurs of Latvian foods and drinks? The largest export partners are Lithuania (19%), Estonia (12%), Germany (10%), Denmark (6%) and Sweden (6%). 
  • Also, investors fancy a good meal made from Latvian local produce! The flow of foreign investment increases on a yearly basis. At the end of 2019, foreign direct investment in the particular sector reached 274 million EUR, comprising 13% of total FDI in manufacturing sector.

Employment and education

  • There are families in Latvia that have been working in the food production industry and agriculture for many generations and this trend continues. The sector is one of the biggest employers in Latvia employing around 24 thousand people with vast majority of them being employed in manufacturing of edibles (21 thousand) and 3 thousand employed in beverage manufacturing. Additionally, more than 40 thousand people are employed in the agricultural sector. 
  • Food processing sector accounts for 19.3% of the total number of people employed in manufacturing sector in 2019.
  • If you want to study Food technology in Latvia then your first choice would be the school located in the beautiful town Jelgava as the main educational institution in the food processing sector is the Food technology Faculty of the Latvian Agricultural University (LLU), where more than 450 students are currently enrolled. Other higher education institutions and multiple vocational schools also offer study programs in the field of food processing.
     

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