The world’s population is growing rapidly. That’s why we must step up our efforts to produce high-quality and nutritious food for all, while restoring nature and biodiversity. In the Netherlands, we work hard to contribute the knowledge and expertise developed for over more than 120 years to achieve global food security. We work with partners around the world to create sustainable and fair food systems, in harmony with nature. Through constant innovation, we not only boost food supply, but also maximise water and energy efficiency, while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and the use of pesticides.
As a small and densely-populated country, we rely on our inventiveness and efficiency to feed our population. The collaboration between government, entrepreneurs and research institutions boosts the pace of innovation, enabling us to attain the highest efficiency in horticulture in the world. As a result, we are not only able to meet the nutritional needs of our own population, but also provide consumers all over the world with nutritious and tasty fruit and vegetables. And high-quality flowers and plants.
Growing healthy food starts with healthy seeds. Did you know over 70% of seeds in the world can be directly or indirectly traced back to the Netherlands? And every year, some 1,200 new plant varieties are developed, often to meet specific local needs. This continuous innovation gives farmers and growers higher yields and better protection against pests and climate-related crop failure. This is especially vital for food security in climate-sensitive areas.
The large majority of food and flowers in the Netherlands is produced in greenhouses. Together, these form the world’s largest greenhouse horticulture cluster, covering an area larger than Manhattan. Here we produce food in the best possible climate conditions, with almost no influence of outside weather. We also strive to make as little impact on Mother Earth as possible, for example by bringing our electricity usage down.
Using robots, mobile monitoring systems and other high-tech solutions, we aim to balance achieving food security with reaching our climate goals. In a world where raw materials are increasingly scarce, we maximise usage. We make sure no drop of water is wasted. And energy is used as efficiently as possible. Did you know in a greenhouse we can produce a kilo of tomatoes using just four litres of water? Growing that same kilo in an open field would require some 60 litres of water.
We strive to balance achieving food security with reaching our climate goals
Dutch horticulture also contributes to feeding and greening ever-expanding urban centres. Every day, around 180,000 people move to cities worldwide. This urbanisation comes with certain challenges. How can we ensure that cities remain healthy and fun places to live? The Netherlands supports countries around the world to shorten food chains. To produce fresh fruit and vegetables locally, instead of relying on import. And with our flowers and plants, we strive to turn cities into healthier and more enjoyable living environments that are at the same time also climate-resilient.
The Netherlands believes in collaboration. Together with partners from all over the world, we constantly improve the quality and quantity of local food products. By exchanging knowledge and localising existing technology, we aim to do our bit in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
Want to know more about how you can work together with the Netherlands to achieve your goals? Or how you can help contribute to or spread the word on campaigns, events and initiatives? Contact us directly at email@example.com so we can help you connect to the right people.