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Excerpted from the Netherlands Career Guide

The Netherlands is the world's third-largest agricultural exporter, second-largest agri-food exporter and the world's largest flower and bulb exporter. Its highly mechanized agricultural industry employs only 2 percent of the labor force but produces enough for a surplus and exports. For example, last year was a bumper year for apples and pears, with a historically high harvest for apples. This is attributable to innovations in cultivation and production; pear and apple production per hectare is four and five times higher than in 1947, respectively. The Netherlands is the fourth-largest producer of pears in Europe.

Areas of Promise

An education in food technology is usually not sufficient; candidates are expected to have an MBA or marketing training as well, and are expected to be able to integrate technology and business.

  • The HJ Heinz company will be constructing a European research center in Nijmegen, an area known as the ‘Dutch Food and Health Valley.’ This site will be the company's largest research site outside of the US. Heinz is not only the creator of the well-known tomato ketchup but also Dutch-based brands such as Honig, Roosvicee, Venz, De Ruijter and Brinta. The facility is scheduled for completion next year.
  • American agri-food company Cargill announced an 82 million USD upgrade to its cocoa processing facility in Wormer. Cargill has opened a new ‘center of expertise’ for cocoa and increased production capacity at the facility. It has also opened a new and fully automated cocoa powder warehouse and distribution center in the port of Amsterdam.

Organizations and Trade Associations

Land- en Tuinbouw Organisatie Nederland (LTO)
Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture
http://www.lto.nl/ (Dutch, English)
LTO Nederland is an entrepreneurial and employers’ organization. It is a cooperative arrangement composed of the three regional agricultural organizations in The Netherlands. LTO Nederland represents almost 50,000 agricultural entrepreneurs and works in support of their economic and social positions. The federation promotes their interests at local, regional, national and international levels. Dutch agriculture and horticulture show enormous diversity, with agricultural entrepreneurs distributed over various animal and crop sectors, bulb growing, glasshouse horticulture and tree cultivation. The majority of these farmers and horticulturalists are organized in and represented via LTO Noord, ZLTO and LLTB under the umbrella of LTO Nederland.

LTO Nederland
Postbus 29773
NL-2502 LT Den Haag
Tel: +31 (0)70 338 27 00
Fax: +31 (0)70 338 27 10


Boerderij magazine 
Farm magazine
http://www.boerderij.nl/ (Dutch)
Boerderij magazine has editions on arable farming, pig farming and cattle farming. The publisher of Boerderij also publishes Boerderij Vandaag’, an opinion magazine on developments in the agricultural sector, and Pluimveehouderij’, a professional magazine for the poultry farming sector. The website provides local and international agriculture news, reports, market analysis, interviews and services on pricing (available for a fee). The daily newspaper Agriculture Newspaper merged with Boerderij’.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Netherlands Guide.

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