Agriculture and food: the Netherlands and China

The Netherlands is your partner in agriculture and food.

The agriculture sector comprises all economic activity relating to food, from production to marketing and distribution.

Exporting nation

The Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, after the United States. It is known for its flowers, cheese, tomatoes, vegetables and beer.

The Dutch horticulture sector has an extensive logistics network. Vegetables harvested in the Netherlands can be sold in New York the very same day.


The Dutch food sector has developed smart storage and packaging technologies that keep food fresh longer.

The Netherlands wants to reduce the use of antibiotics in food production in order to combat antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals.

The Netherlands shares its expertise in food production with developing countries. It is committed to a free market with safe, sustainably produced food.


Research and innovation are vital to Dutch agriculture and horticulture. Dutch agri-food companies and knowledge institutions do innovative work in many areas, including sustainability and nutrition.

Agri-food: the Netherlands and your country or region

The Netherlands is a major agricultural powerhouse. Although small in size, the Netherlands it is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world after the US. Flowers, fruits and vegetables, cheese and other dairy products, meat and meat products, beer, chocolate, starch derivatives, and seeds; the Netherlands produces them all in large amounts for markets around the world. Dairy specifically covers 40% of the Dutch agro-export to China.

Both the Netherlands and China find themselves in an important phase of development, in which there is more and more concern for animal welfare, food safety and food security. Since the Chinese government puts the development of food supply and agriculture as high priority, the Netherlands and China can work together on the agricultural products distribution, knowledge and technology in this field.

The government of the Netherlands believes that healthy, safe food begins with sustainable agriculture and a concern for animal welfare. In this regard the Dutch and Chinese consumers share a concern for food safety and food security. Consumers need to have confidence that what they eat will not be harmful to their health. Moreover, there should be enough safe food available for everyone.

Changes in society have a large impact on the agricultural sector. The growing population and the rise in prosperity are changing consumer patterns, making raw materials scarcer and putting more pressure on the environment. This requires new ideas about the role agriculture plays in society. Agricultural production for sustainable and nutritious food for all consumers asks for changes. The government of the Netherlands attaches great value to sustainable production, careful use of insecticides and pesticides, and high standards for animal welfare.