Edition MONTH 12 | 2017 12
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Showing an increase of 5.4 percent, the Dutch food industry has achieved its highest production growth in five years according to the FNLI’s Food Industry Monitor 2017*, and confidence among businesses and consumers is high. Exports are increasing across the board, both to neighbouring countries as well as to the rest of Europe and worldwide. The sector accounts for almost five percent of GDP and six percent of all jobs in the Netherlands.

Particularly striking is the growth in the number of small companies, which has been a clear trend for the past five years or more. Since 2011 the number of companies employing less than 10 people has risen by 1,300 to almost 6,000 companies. One slight cause for concern is the level of investment in research and development, which has dropped slightly over the past three years.

Some of the challenges faced by the sector are due to the political and geopolitical developments in Europe and across the globe. Examples include Brexit and growing Euroscepticism, the Russian food boycott and the USA’s new stance on trade agreements. The Sustainable Development Goals, including the global objectives relating to the climate, also pose major challenges for the public and private sector alike.

Marian Geluk: “It’s good to see that the sector is in a very strong position from an economic perspective, especially against the backdrop of goals that have had a prominent place on the industry’s agenda for years: ensuring food safety, aligning the product offering with a healthier lifestyle, applying new technologies and the impact of digitisation. This healthy situation puts the sector in a good position to respond to these developments in an innovative and enterprising way, especially in terms of the major long-term challenges related to sustainability.”


*Each year, the Food Industry Monitor (Monitor Levensmiddelenindustrie) provides insight into the figures and trends within the Dutch food industry. The Monitor is developed by the economic research and consulting firm Decisio on behalf of FNLI.

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