Although the total acreage used for covered horticultural production in the Netherlands fell 13% in the past decade, from 10,540 ha in 2005 to 9,200 ha in 2015, for some products there was a spectacular climb. The most impressive figures are for strawberries. Whereas in 2005, there were 230 ha used for covered strawberry production, this steadily grew over the years to 280 ha in 2015, an increase of 48%. Moreover, it probably still offers potential for the future since the growth figures include a 7% rise in 2014 and 10% last year.
Production under glass is by far favoured over production under plastic. Strawberry production under glass saw a sharp rise in hectares in use to a total of 280 in 2015 (+75% since 2005), whereas the hectares used for production under plastic fell by 29 ha from 2005% to a total of 50 in 2015. However, the preference seems to shift a little since the figures for strawberry production under plastic show a turn in 2015 when a 25% increase of hectares was seen.
Total production of vegetables has seen an increase of 7% since 2005 to a total of 4,750 ha in 2015, although it should be noted that the acreage has been falling since 2010 from 4,990 ha. Aubergine is one of the vegetable categories on the rise. With a steady increase in hectares over the years, the product’s hectares used rose from 90 in 2005 to 110 in 2015, meaning 22% growth. Tomatoes are doing fairly well, too. Whereas covered tomatoes were produced on 1,400 ha in 2005, this came to 1,750 ha in 2015 (+25%).
Specifically, grape and cherry tomatoes are in demand. Grape tomatoes saw an increase in hectares from 940 in 2005 to 1,260 in 2013 and have been steady ever since. For cherry tomatoes, the acreage grew by 63% over the last decade to a total of 130 ha in 2015. In 2015, grape tomatoes were produced on 13% less acreage than in 2014. Sweet peppers show a mixed picture. The total acreage fell 6% from 2005 to a total of 1,160 ha in 2015. Yellow and green peppers show a steady decrease, whereas red peppers picked up in 2015 again after years of decline.
The red pepper acreage grew by 3% in 2015 compared to 2014. The category other peppers is on the rise as well, tying in with reports from breeders that there is increased demand for sweet pointed peppers. Cucumbers are definitely coming to a slowdown with a drop in acreage of 14% over the past decade, and flowers and plants with a fall of 30% since 2005.