More farmland goes organic, but the Netherlands still trails in Europe

Organic curly cale being farmed in Noord Holland. Photo:
Organic curly cale being farmed in Noord Holland. Photo:

The amount of Dutch farmland devoted to organic fruit, cereals and vegetables grew by 4% last year, according to figures from official regulator Skal.

In total, the amount of land used for organic farming has doubled in 10 years, and now just over 2,000 of the 50,000 Dutch farming companies are classified as organic.

Nevertheless, despite the growth, the Netherlands is still trailing in European terms. Just 3.2% of the total amount of cultivated land in the Netherlands is farmed without pesticides and artificial fertiliser, compared with a European average of 7.5%. In Austria almost a quarter of farmland is devoted to organic farming.

One reason for this, according to Michael Wilde, from organic farming lobby group Bionext, is that the Dutch government does not provide any subsidies for organic farming.

And one scheme, to help farmers move from traditional to organic farming was scrapped several years ago, Wilde told the Financieele Dagblad.

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