The Netherlands, the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and moderate unemployment. Industry focuses on food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs only 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for food-processing and underpins the country’s status as the world’s second largest agricultural exporter.

How does the Netherlands maintain such high agriculture surpluses?

For starters, the flat land and fertile soil, coupled with a moderate climate makes for good farming conditions, where growing plants, crops and rearing animals, such as poultry and pigs can be done effectively and with relative ease.

Also, the Dutch have become rather adept in the field of agri-technology, where they employ robots to pick soft fruit, and have automated meat separators and potato processors. There is a focus on intensive, but sustainable farming and not only does this mean efficiency, but social responsibility.

The Netherlands also places a great deal of importance on educating their agricultural workforce. Wageningen University is the world’s number one institution for agricultural education, and in addition to this, twelve of the world’s biggest food and drink companies have research and development facilities in the Netherlands. Among them are Danone and Heinz.

Located in central Europe, the Netherlands is perfectly placed geographically for exports. They have an excellent infrastructure, and another sector that is currently enjoying a high is logistics. All of this has helped the Dutch become experts at trading, and although profit margins are tight they have been able to develop a healthy, sustainable and profitable agricultural sector that is lorded the world over.

Exports from Dutch farming were worth a staggering 85 billion Euros last year alone; a new record. The Netherlands export its farming produce far and wide, including eggs to the American market, apples and pears to Vietnam, and the German’s seem to love Dutch produce, as they account for 25 per cent of all exports.

The Dutch economy relies heavily on the agriculture sector and on exports, to the tune of 83 percent of its GDP, which explains why they can export so much food. They are the sixth largest economy in the eurozone and so the Forex market is an important factor in determining overall economic growth and profits from export. The growth in agricultural exports reflects what seems to be a broader upturn in the Dutch economy.

Statistics on the Netherlands export industry are more than impressive. They are the second biggest agricultural exporter in the world, with only the USA exporting more, and it’s in the world’s top three producers of fruit and vegetables, and we can expect these trends to continue in the near future.

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