THE DUTCH WAY OF MEETING THE CHALLENGES
Henk Jansen - Larenstein international agricultural college, Netherlands
Reasons for changes in Dutch agriculture:
• Overproduction became too expensive
• Market reversed from supply driven to demand driven
• Increasing public concern on pollution
• Consumers more critical on health of food
• Consumer concern for animal welfare
• WTO negotiations forced open world market
causes of overproduction
• Increase in productivity due to research, extension, education, and improved technology; protected and guaranteed market (intervention prices); guaranteed prices pushed farmers to high investment and intensive production systems; animal production based on cheap import of feeds.
from supply driven to demand driven
• Not all products and quality variations could be sold; the consumers wishes became the driving force; this turn-around happened extremely fast; perceived “quality” by consumers is often different from quality measured scientifically
concern for pollution
• Increasing public concern for ecology and “nature”; agriculture was depicted as dirty and polluting: manure surplus and agro-chemicals affected water-air-flora-fauna.
consumer concern for health foods
• Higher income made people spend low percentage of their income on food
• this made consumers critical of food health aspects
• it fits very well with the general trend of “health cult”
public concern for animal welfare
• Intensive ways of animal production become increasingly unacceptable to the public;
• consumers refused to buy certain products for emotional reasons.
WTO and open world market
• Through other channels (WTO) EU market is forced open;
• direct support to farmers is gradually phased out.