Why trade with the Netherlands?

Dutch agricultural exports to the United States totaled $2.3 billion in 2012. Many of our well-known products land on kitchen tables of American families every day. Americans especially like our cheese, fresh produce, chocolate, coffee, cacao, tea, and beer.

  • The Netherlands: An agricultural powerhouse

    Satellite picture of The Netherlands, use of land

    Land use in The Netherlands. Source: WaterWatch

    The Netherlands is one of the smallest countries in the European Union, but big in agriculture. More than half of its surface area of almost 9.9 million acres is used for farming. The agricultural-industrial complex (agriculture, horticulture, and associated products and services) represents nearly 10 percent of the Dutch economy, measured in added value.

    Second largest agricultural exporter

    One out of 10 workers has a job in the agricultural sector. The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, after the US. With an average of 1,300 people per square mile, the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

    7.3 million households

    The Netherlands has 7.3 million households (2.2 people per household). On average, each family spends 14 percent of its income on food, beverages, and tobacco. Holland is also one of the world’s wealthiest nations, excelling at trade and high-quality financial and professional services.

  • Dutch products are shipped all over the world

    pigs in a field

    The Dutch export more than $7.4 billion in meat and meat products all around the world. Source: Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.

    The Dutch economy is internationally oriented, and the agricultural sector is no different. Products from Holland can be found in supermarkets all over the world. The value of Dutch agricultural exports reached $97 billion in 2012, accounting for 20 percent of the total Dutch exports that year. Only the US exported more than the Netherlands. The Netherlands is responsible for 22 percent of the world’s potato exports, and has the second highest private research and development investment rate (as a percentage of GDP) in agri-food in Europe.

    Exports to the USA

    Of the considerable amount exported to the US from the Netherlands, meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables, grain, and cocoa and cocoa preparations represented the largest shares. The value of export to the United States was $2.3 billion in 2012. Americans especially like our cheese, chocolate, coffee, cocao, tea,  vegetables and beer. The table below shows some of the main agricultural products exported to the United States in 2012, according to UN Comtrade:

    Product Value to the US
    Beverages, spirits and vinegar $975 million
    Cocoa and cocoa preparations $284 million
    Ornamentals $242 million
    Live animals (mainly horses) $141 million
    Vegetables $115 million
    Oil seeds $106 million
    Dairy $78 million
    Fat and oils $57 million
    Fish $57 million
    Remaining agricultural products $245 million
    Total $2.3 billion

    The Netherlands also buys a lot of agricultural products from the United States (almost $2 billion). Products that are shipped from the US are oil seeds, animal feed, fruits and nuts, plant material, meat, tobacco, and fish products.