Global player in fruit and vegetables…


For a small country, the Netherlands is big in producing and supplying fruit and vegetables from Dutch soil, Dutch glasshouses or anywhere else in the world. Dutch traders in fruit and vegetables know how to source first-class produce from around the globe. And as a sector we seek to guarantee fair working conditions and to minimise the environmental impact of production and transport. By using new technologies, we aim to organise our supply chains efficiently and to make them more sustainable.

The Dutch fruit and vegetable sector meets a global need for healthy food for millions of people. Thanks to our expertise and innovation, we have seen strong growth in the production, import and export of fruit and vegetables in recent decades. The fruit and vegetable sector has become a key driver of the Dutch economy. Total commercial sales of fruit and vegetables in the Netherlands are worth approximately € 18 billion, with members of Fresh Produce Centre accounting for around eighty percent of these sales.

Good for you, good for society

Fruit and vegetables contribute to a strong economy and are good for people and society. Fruit and vegetables are healthy and sustainable. Eating enough fruit and vegetables can bring significant annual savings for society in terms of healthcare costs. Based on data supplied by independent parties such as RIVM, CBS, Eurostat and Wageningen Economic Research, consultants from Bureau Berenschot calculated that if consumers in north-western Europe were to eat their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables this would create a further 120,000 jobs, expand the area under production by 160,000 ha and generate an additional seven billion euros in commercial sales.

The 350-plus members affiliated to Fresh Produce Centre strive every day to guarantee the availability of healthy, sustainable food across a sales market centred mainly on Europe but also extending far beyond.

Working with public information provider Milieu Centraal and the Dutch consumer association Consumentenbond, Fresh Produce Centre calculated the theoretical effect on CO2 emissions if consumers in the Netherlands were to eat more fruit and vegetables instead of meat. The figures are clear. A two-person household deciding to eat a diet of 80% vegetables and 20% meat or fish would save 470 kg of CO2 per year. This equates to 9% of the annual emissions generated in producing ingredients for the meals of a two-person household.

Source of knowledge and inspiration

Fresh Produce Centre represents the interests of businesses involved in the sale and marketing of fruit and vegetables and is a source of knowledge and inspiration. Its members account for over 80% of total sales of fruit and vegetables in the Netherlands, which are worth around € 15 billion (including growers’ associations).

Fresh Produce Centre has around 350 members. The members are trading companies and growers’ associations involved in the sale and marketing of fruit and vegetables. They specialise in the domestic wholesale, import, export, treatment, processing, packaging, storage and transshipment of fruit and vegetables.

Wholesale as intermediary

Importers, exporters and domestic wholesalers are intermediaries in the chain between producers and consumers. They fulfil an essential function, for example in the field of logistic services and guaranteeing food safety, and are familiar with local languages, cultures and regulations.

Importers and exporters are generally larger than domestic wholesalers. Trading companies have specialised in absorbing fluctuations in demand, supply and quality.

Coordinating the supply and demand of fruit and vegetables is a complex process. All parties working together ensure that the Netherlands is a global player in the fruit and vegetable trade.

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