Netherlands Embassy in Cairo, Egypt

Agri & food exports achieve record high in 2016

The Dutch agri & food sector has further strengthened its leading position in the world market. In 2016, Agri & Food exports totalled almost 94 billion euros, compared to 90 billion in 2015. Agricultural products accounted for 85 billion euros and agricultural materials, knowledge and technology accounted for 9 billion: a new record.

This means the agri & food sector now comprises 22% of total exports. This is shown by provisional figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and Wageningen Economic Research. Minister for Agriculture Martijn van Dam announced these figures during the opening of International Green Week in Berlin, the largest international agricultural trade exhibition in the world.

The export of agricultural products rose by over 3.6 billion euros (+4.4%) to 85 billion, the largest increase since 2011. The exports were mainly foodstuffs, such as vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and processed products, in addition to high-quality floriculture. A noticeable factor is the increasing demand for Dutch agricultural materials, innovations and high-quality technology. Exports in this area totalled nearly 9 billion euros. Examples of such exports include energy-efficient greenhouses, precision agriculture systems (via GPS and drones) and new discoveries that make crops more resistant to the effects of climate change and diseases. In 2016, the import of agricultural products rose by 1.6% to 57.1 billion euros.

Minister for Agriculture Van Dam: "We have successfully reinforced our leading position in Europe and the world. Agri & food exports have significantly grown once more. “Made in Holland” is no longer a label reserved only for tulips and cheese. Our worldwide reputation in the field of agricultural knowledge and technology also continues to grow. In the future, we want to continue contributing to effective, healthy and sustainable food provision around the world. And our smart, innovative products and technology will allow us to do exactly that.”

Record Export Agri & Food in 2016

European leader

With agricultural and horticultural exports totalling 85 billion euros, the Netherlands is top of the league in Europe. The global leader is the United States. The Netherlands is in second place, with Germany, Brazil and China making up the rest of the top five. Of the total export figure of 85 billion euros, 24 billion comprises re-exports: products that the Netherlands imports, processes and then exports again. Germany is the Netherlands' most important trading partner, with a quarter of the agricultural exports going to our eastern neighbours. Over three-quarters (77%) of our total agricultural exports go to countries in Europe. These mainly consist of tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers, meat and dairy products. From outside Europe, flowers and plants are the Netherlands' most in-demand agricultural products, followed by meat and dairy produce.

As well as being an important producer and global supplier of flowers, vegetables, meat and dairy products, the Netherlands is also increasingly exporting high-quality agricultural materials, knowledge and technology

For more information, please visit https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2017/01/20/agri-food-exports-achieve-record-high-in-2016.