Economic significance of the greenhouse sector: massive growth

Horticulture is one of the sectors that can make a global contribution to the production of sufficient, safe and sustainable and good quality food and ornamental plants for the future global population. Horticultural suppliers from the Netherlands can play a role in this due to their unique combination of the available knowledge (software), technology (hardware) and strategic and operational service provision (orgware) worldwide. The combination of these elements is partly achieved through the traditionally strong domestic market of growers and trade.

Economic significance of the greenhouse sector: massive growth

Source: GreenQ Horticultural Expertise Group

The Dutch horticultural complex is extremely important for the Dutch economy, as demonstrated by the fact that it has been designated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs as one of the nine top sectors in the Netherlands. Within the horticultural complex, a distinction can be made between the supply sector on the one hand and the primary production sector on the other. The processing industry is less important because many products find their way to the consumer as fresh produce.

Important suppliers and service providers are:

  • Greenhouse construction
  • Installations for energy, climate, and water
  • Potting soil and substrate sector
  • Suppliers of crop protection, fertilisers, and related products
  • Advice and knowledge suppliers
  • Banks and insurers
  • Energy suppliers
  • Plant material
  • Trade, distribution and storage

Sustainability: delivering and communicating

An important opportunity for companies involved in supplying the horticultural sector is the theme ‘Sustainability’. Dutch horticulturalists can grow plenty of healthy food and ornamental plant products in a small area with minimum impact on the living environment through the combination of good management, extensive knowledge, and good greenhouses and equipment. In view of the growth of the world population and the migration to the city, as well as rising incomes outside Europe, there is a global need for more sustainable cultivation. This too will stimulate ‘local4local’ production. On the one hand, this trend is the result of sustainability themes, such as the carbon footprint (transport), residue requirements; on the other hand it is the result of chauvinism about the preference for food from the own region.

Cooperation: a ‘must’ for the future

Although there is less cooperation abroad, the form in which it occurs is similar to that in the Netherlands. In other countries, so-called turnkey and larger scale projects are common, and competition between the various suppliers and service providers is stronger.

Read more at Greenhouse technology suppliers conquer the world.