National Geographic Spotlights Dutch Agrifood Sector
As a global leader for sustainable agriculture, the Netherlands is creating the future of farming
The Netherlands is a model of smart, sustainable agriculture, reports the National Geographic in its September issue. As the world’s No. 2 food exporter, the Netherlands is a global “agricultural powerhouse.”
“At every turn in the Netherlands, the future of sustainable agriculture is taking shape,” says the article. Holland is the world’s top exporter of potatoes and onions and second largest exporter of vegetables overall. It is the source of more than a third of all global trade in vegetable seeds. But the country’s most important export, argues National Geographic, is knowledge.
Hub for Agricultural Research
The thriving Dutch agrifood sector is largely supported by Wageningen University & Research (WUR). WUR is considered the world’s top agricultural research institution. Dubbed ‘Food Valley,’ WUR is “the Dutch agri-tech version of Silicon Valley.” The institution, with research facilities at several locations throughout the Netherlands, is key to the success of Holland’s agrifood industry. WUR is home to agricultural startups and experimental farms that are on the cutting edge of sustainability. The institution blends research with business to meet global food challenges.
“Half of me runs Plant Sciences, but the other half oversees nine separate business units involved in commercial contract research,” said Ernst van den Ende, managing director of WUR’s Plant Sciences Group. WUR is involved in more than a thousand projects in more than 140 countries.
Major agrifood companies including Cargill, Danone, FrieslandCampina, KraftHeinz, Limagrain, Monsanto, Nunhems, RijkZwaan, Syngenta, Unilever, Mead Johnson, ConAgra and Mars have production or R&D sites in Holland.
Source: National Geographic