The cultivation of ware potatoes in the Netherlands is only a small branch of agriculture, accounting for 70 hectares of the cultivated area. More and more of potatoes for consumption are grown for factory processing. The economic significance of potato cultivation in the Netherlands therefore encompasses more than the lifting and selling of the potatoes themselves.
Last year some 4 billion kilos of ware potatoes were lifted. About 1.5 billion kilos of these were exported, raising more than 200 million euro. Exports of potato products were worth nearly 1 billion euro in 2002. This is slightly more than in 2001 and 14 percent more than in 2000.
Exports of ware potatoes and potato products
Potato growers are the main suppliers of raw materials for factories making crisps, pre-fried frozen chips and other potato products. Most of the ware potatoes grown in the Netherlands are grown for these purposes.
Processed potatoes, January to August
Large scale processing
The processing of ware potatoes is becoming an increasingly important industry in the Netherlands. The trade season runs until the end of August. In 2003 more than 2 billion kilos of potatoes were processed to consumer products. This is 10 percent more than in the same period in 2002. More than two-thirds of these potatoes came from Dutch growers.
Compared with 1994 the amount of processed potatoes in 2002 rose by nearly a quarter. This means that more and more potatoes go through a factory before ending up on our plates.
Folkert van der Werf
Commodity Board for Arable products