In the past five years, the Dutch greenhouse horticulture industry has shrunk by approximately 10% in terms of acreage. As opposed to just under 10,000 hectares of land dedicated to greenhouse horticulture in 2012 (9,960 hectares), this industry’s acreage has decreased by 1,000 hectares as it stands today, according to the Statistics Netherlands. During this period, the cultivation greenhouse vegetables has increased, which automatically translates into a decline in the greenhouse cultivation of ornamental plans.

According to Statistics Netherlands, the surface area dedicated to greenhouse vegetables amounts to 4,950 hectares, just under 30 hectares more than last year, In comparison to 2012, this means an increase of 80 hectares or, in other words, a 1.6% growth. This growth can be attributed primarily to tomatoes, for which crop the total surface area this year amounts to 1,730 hectares. This is 40 hectares, and therefore just under 2.4% more in comparison to 2012.

Greenhouse vegetables are flourishing

The explosive growth of the cherry tomato is responsible for this, according to the statistics. The surface area amounts to 420 hectares this year, almost 3 times more than in 2016. This is, however, at the expense of the vine tomato, which has seen a 20% reduction, down to 970 hectares. Nevertheless, the vine tomato remains the most popular greenhouse vegetable, followed by red block peppers, cucumbers and greenhouse-grown strawberries. The acreage reserved for sweet peppers, cucumbers and aubergines remains stable, while surface area dedicated to strawberries grown in greenhouses and tunnels has increased proportionately this year: by 17.6%, up to 400 hectares.

Fewer ornamental plants

Where the cultivation of greenhouse vegetables has grown, the production of ornamental plants in the Netherlands has shrunk during the course of the past five years. The surface area dedicated to growing flowers amounts to 3520 ha in 2017, 300 ha less than in 2016, meaning a decrease of just under 8%. Between 2012 and 2015, the acreage decreased by 3.5% to 5.5%. In the past five years, the acreage dedicated to nursery-grown flowers decreased by 1,030 hectares, a shrinkage of at least 22.5%. This decrease can be attributed primarily to cut flowers. In 2012, cut flowers were grown on 2,310 hectares of land, which means that the cultivation of cut flowers has decreased by 630 hectares within the space of five years. This is a decrease of at least 27%. With regard to potted plants, the surface area decreased to 1,270 hectares: a decrease of 60 hectares or 4.5%. As from 2012, the surface area dedicated to potted plants amounted to approximately 1,290 and 1,330 hectares on an annual basis.

Source: CBS. Photo: Mario Bentvelsen.