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The Netherlands becomes World’s Biggest Importer of Chocolate

The Netherlands becomes World’s Biggest Importer of  Chocolate

In 2018, Dutch cocoa bean imports stood at 1.1 billion kg, more than half of which came from Ivory Coast. This makes the Netherlands the largest importer of cocoa beans in the world. Approximately three-quarters are destined for domestic industrial processing while around one-quarter are resold directly to other countries. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of new research into destinations of Dutch goods imports.

The Netherlands is a major importer of some important agricultural commodities such as cocoa beans, palm oil (third largest country in the world in terms of import value), soybeans (fourth largest) and coffee (fifth largest). In terms of total volume, the Netherlands is the fourth largest importer of palm oil and eighth largest of coffee.

Within the European Union, the Netherlands is the largest importer of cocoa beans, palm oil and soybeans. Globally, palm oil imports are highest in India while China is by far the largest soybean importer and the US the largest coffee bean importer.

A number of market participants in the Netherlands have committed themselves via agreements and initiatives to concrete milestones towards an increased use of sustainably produced agricultural commodities. Those involved often monitor the objectives themselves while CBS validates the process at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The sale of cocoa in supermarkets is monitored by CBS. The monitoring results will be published in the Monitor sustainable agricultural commodities.

The use of sustainably produced palm oil, soy (products) and cocoa has been on the rise in recent years. In the production of foodstuffs for the Dutch market, only sustainably produced palm oil has been used since 2015. When it comes to meat, dairy and eggs, only animals feeds with sustainably produced soy have been used since 2016. The decline in the share of sustainably produced coffee can be explained in part by the wider sustainability approach adopted by coffee businesses.