The Dutch dairy sector is a major exporter. Nearly two-thirds of all milk processed in the Netherlands is destined for export. In 2018, this resulted in an export value of €7.7 billion.
Most dairy stays close to home: the countries closest to us are the main markets for Dutch dairy. More than half of what we earn in dairy exports comes from Germany, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom. Other European countries also buy a lot of dairy from us. In total, approximately 80% of all milk produced in the Netherlands is processed into a dairy product in Europe.
The Netherlands is the most active of the EU member states on the global dairy market. Of all of the dairy traded around the world, the Netherlands represents a share of nearly 5%. Because much more is exported than is imported, the dairy sector makes a substantial contribution to the positive national trade balance. Around 8 cents of every net euro the Netherlands earns through foreign trade comes from the dairy sector.
The Dutch dairy sector is therefore an important part of the national economy. The dairy sector provides 45,000 direct full-time jobs. Thanks to a favorable climate, our strategic geography, a strong logistics infrastructure, and rising global demand for high-quality dairy products, we have everything we need to keep our sector strong.
What does dairy export look like? Click on a country below to see the numbers.