Between 2001 and 2006, the area used for greenhouse horticulture in the Westland region shrank by 11 percent. Commercial growing under glass in Bleiswijk, North Limburg and North Brabant, on the other hand, increased considerably. The total area used for greenhouse horticulture in the Netherlands remained fairly stable at more than 10 thousand hectares (ha).
Reduction in Westland region
The area in the Westland region used for commercial growing under glass diminished by over 300 ha in the period 2001–2006. Commercial growing in greenhouses near the municipality of Aalsmeer also decreased substantially over the past five years. Lack of space and restructuring processes forced horticultural farmers in these regions to discontinue their activities.
Despite the downward trend, the Westland region easily remains the largest area for greenhouse horticulture in the Netherlands, covering almost 3 thousand ha in 2006.
Greenhouse horticulture area
The decrease in the Westland region is offset by an increase in various other regions. In the municipality of Bleiswijk and surroundings, east of the Westland region, the area for commercial growing under glass was expanded by 100 ha. The area used for greenhouse horticulture also increased in North Limburg between 2001 and 2006 and in various regions in the provinces of North Brabant, Friesland, Overijssel, Gelderland and Zeeland.
Fewer and larger holdings
The number of greenhouse farmers in the Netherlands decreased by almost one fifth over the past five years. In 2006, there were 8.3 thousand horticultural holdings, as against more than 10 thousand in 2001. The average size rose by one fifth to 1.2 ha. In Oostland (Bleiswijk and surrounding area), however, the average holding was more than twice that size.
The most substantial increase in this period was found in the south-eastern part of North Brabant, where the average holding size increased by almost 50 percent between 2001 and 2006.
Greenhouse horticultural holdings by area
Folkert van der Werf