Horticulture - United States

Agrifood & Horticulture

Finding solutions together

The Netherlands is one of the smallest countries in the European Union, but big in the agrifood and horticulture. Nearly half of the Netherlands’ surface area of 10.2 million acres is used for high-value agricultural and food production.

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On those acres of land, the Netherlands produces high-quality, sustainable healthy food and has developed innovative agricultural and horticultural solutions that contribute to a healthier diet, a more secure food chain, and a robust floriculture market.

In fact, the Netherlands exports over $4 billion in cut flowers every year, making us the world’s the largest exporter of flowers. Addiontally, the Netherlands grows and ships all over the world 7 billion tulip bulbs each year.

In 2020 alone, the Netherlands exported 453,828,000 tulip bulbs to the United States. The top five flower bulb varieties that year were tulips, liliums, gladioluses, narcissuses, and irises.

Innovation and research

As a large producer of agricultural products and food, the Netherlands is known for its sustainably produced propagation material, such as flower bulbs, young plants, vegetable seeds, tomatoes, peppers, cheese, and beer.

Innovation and research are key in Dutch agriculture and horticulture. Government, universities and businesses are constantly looking for ways to make the “foodprint” of agriculture and food production more sustainable and greener in collaboration with international partners.

Together we look for solutions to address challenges such as climate change, digitization, shortening supply chains, and automation and robotization.

We have developed innovations to transform residual rest streams from agricultural production into innovative, alternative proteins. The reuse of waste is an important element of closing the loop, which is an integral part of the Dutch circular agriculture and food policy.

Our environmental agriculture industry has an astonishing logistical network that can deliver flowers to the New York streets within days of being harvested in the Netherlands. Dutch growing, monitoring, and processing techniques are popular export products on their own.

Animal welfare

We excel in offering solutions for sustainable livestock practices and developing smart methods with animal welfare in mind. Priorities for collaboration with the United States are in the field of sustainable dairy farming and poultry production.

The Netherlands is committed to significantly lowering the amount of antibiotics in food to battle antibiotic resistance. Farmers have learned to manage their livestock’s health and production with limited use of antibiotics.

Our food sector has created smart conservation and packaging techniques to keep food fresh and reducing food waste. Moreover there is a strong emphasis on health. Food companies in collaboration with researchers are looking into alternative solutions for salt, fat and sugar intake. This contributes to combating diabetes and obesity.

Within the Dutch development cooperation policy, food security is a priority. The Netherlands, together with international partners is promoting sustainably produced food and better access to nutritious food, by making food systems more resilient and sustainable.