Economic Cluster Agro & Food




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In the Netherlands, large horticultural clusters where plants, trees, flowers, flower bulbs and vegetables are cultivated, are referred to as greenports. Europe’s leading greenport, the largest horticultural sector in the world, is based in Zuid-Holland. The region has ranked among Europe’s top five food exporters for many years.

Greenport has its epicentre in Westland and Oostland. Vast quantities of fruit and vegetables are auctioned at The Greenery in Barendrecht and shipped via the port of Rotterdam. One key asset of the greenport is the strong synergy with the maritime and transport sectors, ensuring that fresh produce is efficiently and quickly transported to destinations across the globe. The greenport is also forging ever-closer links with the bio & life sciences sector, as the greenhouse is considered to be the pharmacy of the future: an incubator of new medicines.

The greenport provides fertile ground for new solutions to global food and energy issues in metropolitan areas. Therefore, the greenport knowledge institutes collaborate with companies such as Siemens to develop a new energy system for the agro & food sector. Many of the sustainability objectives have a cross-sector dimension: the logistics sector is working on food transportation by water, the energy sector is mobilising thermal and residual heat for food production, and food and biomass waste is being harnessed as a new energy source.

Facts & Figures on Zuid-Holland’s Agro & Food Cluster

  • 80% of the world’s horticultural innovations originate in the Netherlands; the majority of these originate from Zuid-Holland.
  • Zuid-Holland is home to three of the five national greenports: Westland-Oostland, Duin- en Bollenstreek and Boskoop.
  • These three greenports jointly account for about 72,000 direct jobs, while creating several times more indirect jobs.
  • Our region produces over 6 million tonnes of products annually, with a production value of about 5.5 billion euros.
  • 580 greenhouse companies receive CO2, used to make plants grow faster, as residual heat from industrial locations in Rotterdam.