Wageningen University & Research presents under the 'Wie voedt Nederland?' slogan

"Greenhouse horticulture relies on exports"

With the question, 'Wie voedt Nederland?' ('Who is feeding the Netherlands'), Wageningen University & Research presented figures about the entire chain - from farm to table. In 2017, Dutch consumers spent more than EUR58 billion on food and beverages. There is an entire production line in the run-up to this consumers' spending.

In 2017, this included more than 54,000 agricultural businesses and a mere 15,000 companies that were active in agri-trade. The whole chain contributes about seven percent to the country's national income. It also provides 9% of job opportunities in the Netherlands. An important part of the added value is thanks to exports, according to the figures.

The greenhouse horticulture's share in the Dutch economy

Greenhouse horticultural complex depends on exports
In 2016, the added value of the greenhouse horticultural complex* amounted to about EUR7.4 billion. This is the most recent year for which figures are available. This amounts to 1.1% of the national added value. A small portion (5%) of the added value of the greenhouse horticultural complex is realized by the processing of foreign agricultural raw materials and its related supply and distribution.

Added value greenhouse horticulture

*The greenhouse horticultural complex includes the primary horticultural companies. These are greenhouse vegetable cultivation, cut flower cultivation, pot plant cultivation, and mushroom cultivation companies. In 2016, these totaled 3,056 businesses. It includes the fruit and vegetable processing industry. It also includes suppliers and distributors in as far as their activities are related to primary greenhouse horticulture and the fruit and vegetable processing industry.

Added value, domestic raw materials, greenhouse horticulture

Primary companies provide for 60% of the added value (EUR7 billion) based on domestic raw agricultural materials. The primary sector's share has increased in recent years. This is in contrast to the other sub-complexes in the agricultural industry. At 29%, supply companies also have a considerable share of the added value. The processing and distribution sectors are small and amount to only a few percent.

The greenhouse horticultural complex is very dependent on exports. More than 80% of this complex's added value is related to the export of vegetables, flowers, and plants.

Job opportunities greenhouse horticulture

Job opportunities greenhouse horticultural complex
The employment opportunities in the greenhouse horticultural complex have been declining since 2010. In 2016, it came to 76,900 working hours. This was more than one percent of the Dutch national employment opportunities. Within the horticultural complex based on local raw materials, primary companies provided the most employment - almost 59%. The share in added value is somewhat higher (60%). This indicates a relatively high percentage of added value per worker in the primary companies. The remaining job opportunities in the domestic raw material based greenhouse horticultural complex is primarily supplied by service providers (33%). The processing and distribution sectors each contribute about 4% of the job opportunities.

Job opportunities, domestic raw materials, greenhouse horticulture

Due to a revision of the figures, these may differ from previously published figures. This is according to the WUR on the Agrimatie website, where the figures were published.

Also see the figures here on labor, company structurescompany sizesBrexit, land use, and the growth of certified organic agricultural and horticultural companies


Publication date:



Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here


Other news in this sector:


Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber