Cheese production in the Netherlands rose by 7 percent in the first nine months of 2006. This seems to have put an end to the slight fall in production between 1995 and 2005. In this period cheese production in the European Union (EU-25) rose by 21 percent.
Cheese production in the EU
Cheese production in the Netherlands
The increase in production between January and September 2006 was stronger in the Netherlands than the 3 percent increase in the EU-25.
In 2005 658 million kilos of cheese was made in the Netherlands. This is the same amount as in 2004 but 4 percent less than in 1995. The decrease in production was accompanied by rising exports and falling domestic sales.
Germany Europe’s largest cheese producer
Nearly 7.7 billion kilos of cheese was made in the EU-25 in 2005. Germany accounts for one quarter of the market, with just over 1.9 billion kilos. This makes it Europe’s main cheese producer. France and Italy come second and third with one fifth and one tenth of the market respectively. The Netherlands is in fourth place. Poland is an emerging cheese producer: in 2005 the Poles produced 538 million kilos of cheese, 80 percent more than in 1995.
Dutch cheese imports
Dutch eating more foreign cheese
Germany has managed to triple its cheese exports to the Netherlands in the last ten years, to 87 million kilos. This trend continued in the first nine months of 2006. Half of foreign cheese imported in the Netherlands comes from Germany.
Dutch exports to Germany fell by 7 percent between 1995 and 2005. The cheese surplus between the Netherlands and Germany was 214 kilos in 1995, but one third smaller in 2005 at 140 million kilos.
Dutch eat 15 percent more cheese
Cheese imports have increased by two-thirds in the last ten years. This is one of the reasons the range of available cheeses has become wider in the Netherlands. The Dutch ate more than 270 million kilos of cheese in 2005. Cheese consumption per capita rose by 15 percent in the period 1995-2005, to 16.7 kilos per year.