Netherlands Missions, Japan

The Netherlands: the world's second largest exporter of agri-food

Agricultural export from the Netherlands topped EUR 81.3bn last year, an all-time record, according to the national statistics office Statistics Netherlands ( In terms of agricultural exports, the Netherlands is second only to the US. Germany ranked third, followed by Brazil and France. With agricultural machinery, fertilizer and other essentials, the total export value attained nearly 90 billion EUR. The agriculture sector accounts for 21% of the entire Dutch commodity exports.

Agri-food and agriculture related products accounted for almost 65% of the nation's trade surplus for goods. In particular, it is the export of flowers, plants and other ornamentals that contribute to these results (6,4 billion EUR). Other contributing commodities were vegetables, meat, milk and dairy products, preparations of cereals, flour, and milk.

The figures also revealed that enterprises in the agricultural sector are slightly more aggressive in pursuing innovations (51%)  compared to their peers in other industries (48%).  Innovations in production are most popular among Dutch agro-food business. They contributed over 5% of the country's total R&D expenditures.

In 2015, some 8 % of the all enterprises in the Netherlands were agribusiness-related, amounting to 120,000 entities.  In terms of employment, one out of ten employees work in the agricultural sector.  One out of five enterprises in the agribusiness is engaged in international commodities trade, which is higher than in any other industry.

The exports of the Dutch agricultural sector contributed 29 billion Euros, or 4.4% to the Dutch Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014. The Netherlands earns 64 Eurocents on every Euro exported by the agricultural sector.