Dutch strawberry growers reduced by nearly half in last decade
The cultivation area shrank as well during this period and was approximately 5 percent smaller on 1 April 2017.
Although the number of strawberry growers and the total cultivation area have decreased, crop yields have risen in recent years.
This is mainly due to an expansion of the strawberry cultivation area in greenhouses, according to provisional figures from the Agricultural Census 2017 conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
On 1 April 2017, the total strawberry cultivation area covered 1,630 ha, as against 1,780 ha in the record year of 2012.
Strawberry growing in greenhouses and accessible polytunnels has increased from 250 to 400 ha since 2006. Currently, 76 percent of Dutch strawberries are grown outdoors, versus 85 percent in 2006.
The strawberry cultivation area became smaller, but the number of growers declined much faster.
This year, 450 farms are engaged in strawberry cultivation, i.e. 380 fewer than in 2006 (-46 percent).
Growing outdoors and in greenhouses decreased at about the same rate. ■