The goal of the Top Sector for Horticulture & Starting Materials is to be the world leader in horticulture, food and a green environment. In this respect, the Netherlands serves as an incubator for solutions to societal problems, in which the knowledge accumulated in our country can contribute to solutions that can be implemented all over the world.


The Dutch horticultural sector is a global leader in many fields. Thanks to an excellent knowledge and research infrastructure, a natural tendency on the part of the corporate community to develop joint solutions and an active government, the sector is able to achieve constant progress in the fields of sustainability, food security, healthy food and a greener living environment. This progress has been articulated in the government’s mission-driven top sector policy.

Sustainable Development Goals

Making the world a better and more sustainable place, without poverty or inequality, where we can stop climate change and in which food problems are solved: the United Nations gave these ideals concrete shape through its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  in 2015. The partners in the Top Sector for Horticulture & Starting Materials pursue a prominent sustainability policy through which they contribute directly to the realisation of these SDGs, which goals they intend to achieve by 2030.


Europe is the most important sales market for horticultural products and starting materials from the Netherlands. In order to achieve further growth, the Netherlands is increasingly focusing on the global market. Dutch entrepreneurs are active in America, Asia and Africa, these being the largest growth markets. More and more people living in Emerging Market countries are moving to crowded, busy cities. As a result, their quality of life has come under pressure and they need to be provided with food. The Top Sector for Horticulture & Starting Materials is making a fundamental contribution to this. This is because the sector exports not only products, but also knowledge – and even entrepreneurs. Many successful and innovative horticultural companies abroad are Dutch or of Dutch origin.

Knowledge and innovations

This knowledge and these innovations are not only interesting for the situation in the Netherlands; they also pave the way towards tackling global challenges with respect to food production and nutrition. This not only leads to new knowledge and sustainable, innovative solutions, but also to an interesting international revenue model for business enterprises. In this way, the Netherlands also presents itself as an interesting country for foreign companies to establish themselves. This also enables us to join forces in resolving future problems.

Contribution by the Top Sector for Horticulture & Starting Materials

The internationalisation line focuses on encouraging international cooperation with regard to innovation within the EU and beyond, on exporting our knowledge and technology, and on contributing to food security, sustainable food systems and a green residential environment worldwide. Click here for our international website.