ABN Amro report

Technology and innovations needed to strengthen Dutch onion chain

The export of Dutch onions has enough potential to grow from 1.3 million tonnes of onion per year to 2 million tonnes in 2050. The Netherlands provides 15 to 20 percent of the export of onions on the global market and is the biggest onion exporter in the world after India. The chances of a higher turnover are also growing due to the growth of the world population and the growing attention for healthy eating. Due to the expected increase of the world production to 150 million tonnes in 2050 there are a lot of sales and export opportunities for the Dutch onion. More thought for sustainability and technological innovations can increase the visibility of the Dutch onion. This was concluded by ABN AMRO in the sector report 'De Nederlandse uienketen afgepeld' (The layers of the Dutch onion chain), published on Thursday.

Flevoland and Zeeland forerunners in onion cultivation
Flevoland and Zeeland are the main Dutch provinces for the cultivation of onions with 58.3 percent of the total onion area. The area in Flevoland has grown by 32.3 percent since 2000 and by 31.7 percent in Zeeland. Zeeland has its strategic position between the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp to thank for its position as forerunner. The more intensive cultivation has meant that the total area has grown in size. The fact that the area in Drenthe, Groningen and Overijssel has grown strongly means that peat district farmers are looking for an alternative to starchy potatoes.

Dutch onion has international potential
The international market position of Dutch onion exporters is only growing stronger due to the good product quality and the relatively low price. "The strong international position of the Dutch onion must continually be fought for and is dependent on the margin each link in the chain can make. It is only possible to effectively invest in sustainability and innovation with a sufficient margin. Technological innovations can strengthen the various links in the chain and with it the chain as a whole. Besides this, it is important to supply good and reliable quality, as our international reputation is only as good as our last shipment. It is therefore of great importance to be innovative and make good quality agreements among ourselves," says Jan de Ruyter, Sector Manager of Vegetable Sectors at ABN AMRO. " Sustainability is an increasingly important theme. It is therefore important to show a recognisable Dutch face there. In short, the Dutch onion has to define itself more as a sustainable product on the global stage."

More information:
Jan de Ruyter, Sector Manager Plantaardige sectoren
E: jan.de.ruyter@nl.abnamro.com
T: 06 13 57 92 46

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