The Netherlands potato market
The Netherlands grows about 7Mt of potatoes from a planted area of around 160,000ha These include around 2Mt of starch potatoes and 5Mt of seed, fresh for retail and the processing industry Bintje, once the most popular variety grown, has been overtaken by processing varieties such as Fontane, Markies and Agria.There is a trend towards larger farms to achieve economies of scale, however, compared with GB and Northern France the growers are still relatively small. Land for growing potatoes is more expensive than in other north-western potato growing countries so high yields, economies of scale and a good strategy are key for Dutch growersThe majority of Dutch potatoes are used for processing, with around 35Mt of potatoes processed each year
The Dutch processing industry has grown enormously over the last 15 years, offering growers an efficient outlet for their crop The current Dutch harvest is not enough to fulfill the demand of the processing industry and so imports from Belgium, northern France and Germany are necessary to fulfil requirements The fresh retail potato market is estimated at a maximum of 350,000t a year A quarter of all Dutch consumers never buy fresh unpeeled potatoes, while consumption of fresh, chilled potato convenience products shows an upwards trend.
Until recently, the Netherlands was the largest fresh potato exporter in the world, with Germany and France now larger exporters.
The Netherlands is by far the largest seed potato exporter in the world, with 798,000t exported last season The main seed variety grown is the early Spunta.
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