The fruit and vegetable supply is of great importance in these times in order to provide healthy products to people. The Netherlands and Belgium are mainly producers of vegetables. Around 1.7 million tons of vegetables are grown annually in Belgium and around 5 million tons in the Netherlands, of which 1.5 million are onions.
This is reported by Fruit and Vegetable Facts, which goes on to say that both countries are on average more than self-sufficient in vegetables, but not in fruit. 150 kilos of vegetables are grown per inhabitant in Belgium and 300 kilos in the Netherlands, with the exception of onions weighing more than 200 kilos. In the case of fruit, in both Belgium and the Netherlands, it mainly affects apples and pears. In total, Belgium produces 0.62 million tonnes of fruit and the Netherlands 0.76 million tonnes annually. That is 55 and 45 kilos per inhabitant.
International trade very important
In the case of vegetables, it is mainly exports that drive the Dutch sector. It is estimated that three quarters of all vegetables grown in the Netherlands are shipped across the border as fresh products. In Belgium this is an estimated half.
In the Netherlands, re-exports also play an important role in vegetables. Last year, an estimated 1.2 million tons of fresh vegetables traveled on to Europe via the Netherlands. In Belgium that is almost 100,000 tons of fresh vegetables.
Most of the fruit is imported
Belgium imported 2.2 million tons of fruit last year, of which 1.2 million were bananas. Last year the Netherlands imported 5.2 million tons of fruit, of which 1.3 million were bananas.
Belgium exported 1.8 million tons of fresh fruit last year, around 70% of which is re-exported. Of the 4.2 million tonnes of fish fruit the Netherlands exported last year, less than 10% were Dutch products.
The question of where the fresh products come from is becoming increasingly important. Both Belgian and Dutch imports of fruit and vegetables come mostly from overseas, Belgium 45% and the Netherlands 60%. Belgium imports a fair amount from neighboring countries, 45% to be precise. In the Netherlands it is only 15%.
In terms of exports, 70% of Belgian fruit and vegetable exports go to neighboring countries, with the Netherlands getting half. The Netherlands also exported quite a bit to Scandinavia and overseas countries. The latter is particularly true of onions.