Dutch agricultural exports continued to rise in 2011 in spite of a downturn in 2010 as a result of the 2009 economic crisis. The total value of agricultural exports increased from €66.6 billion in 2010 to €72.8 billion in 2011, an increase of 9%.
Henk Bleker, Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade, announced these results at the Grüne Woche. The International Grüne Woche in Berlin, with 450,000 visitors, is the largest international trade fair for food, agriculture and horticulture.
Germany is by far the most important trading partner for the Netherlands for agricultural products. Twenty-six per cent of our agricultural exports go to Germany. The increased value of these exports came mainly from cheese, beef and poultry meat. The export value of vegetables and fruit was markedly lower than last year. A contributing factor was the poor price obtained for cucumbers and tomatoes as a result of the EHEC crisis.
Bleker: “The new agricultural export figures are certainly a great boost. It demonstrates that even in difficult economic times Dutch agricultural businesses make the most of the opportunities there are. The primary sector’s contribution to kick-starting the economy is considerable. They deserve to be complimented.”
In the 2013 anniversary year the Netherlands will be a Grüne Woche partner country. Our country has been represented at this agricultural fair since 1953 and is the oldest participant. In recognition of this anniversary Minister Bleker’s signing of the Contract for Partnerland Niederlande 2013 with Messe Berlin Chairman, Mr Hosch, had a festive character.