More plant cultivation by fewer businesses

About 60% of all glasshouses in the Netherlands are devoted to ornamental plant cultivation: cut flowers, ornamental plants and trees. In 2000 the cultivation of such products accounted for a record land area of nearly 6,300 hectares. There are about 7,800 horticultural businesses in the Netherlands.

The areas devoted to tree nurseries and perennial plants under glass houses have increased particularly strongly in recent years. In 1995 these products accounted for 196 hectares; by last year this had expanded to 368 hectares.

Ornamental plants grown under glass

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Fewer businesses

Although the area devoted to the commercial production of ornamental plants is increasing steadily, the number of businesses in this sector has fallen. The number of growers of flowers in glasshouses is decreasing more slowly than the total number of agricultural and horticultural businesses. Nearly 10% of flower growers have gone out of business since 1995, while the total number of agricultural and horticultural businesses has diminished by 15% in the same period.

Businesses growing cut flowers under glass

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In the south of the Netherlands and in Drenthe in the north, the area devoted to the cultivation of ornamental plants has increased strongly, but here too the number of producers is decreasing. The combined effect of these developments is that the businesses that remain are increasing in size. A business growing ornamental plants under glass now has an average area of 8,000 square metres of glasshouses. The number of these businesses with more than 5 hectares of glasshouses is rapidly increasing: today it is 74, tens times as many as in 1980.

Cor Pierik