Myth busted: Despite the title of ‘top exporter’, the Netherlands is number 8 on the list of countries with the LOWEST food self-sufficiency

Representatives of the governing parties (ministers and MPs) now apparently lie more often than they tell the truth, and simply ignore scientifically proven facts – because it suits them a little better. This unpleasant truth forces itself on us – the farmers and citizens of the Netherlands – every day. After all, the whole nitrogen drama is full of lies and a lack of scientific underpinnings and facts.

None. 8 lowest degree of food self-sufficiency

Yesterday, a map was suddenly shared in app groups that was supposed to show that the Netherlands – the largest exporter of agricultural products – is among the countries with the lowest self-sufficiency rate for food. While we only hear from The Hague that we overproduce lots of food. The list piqued our interest, so we did some research and found the source of the report (read the report here). And that’s certainly not the least! FAO: The Food and Agriculture Organization already published the report in 2013, which included the list of countries with the highest and lowest levels of self-sufficiency. Featured 8 of countries with the LOWEST degree of self-sufficiency: The Netherlands! FAO has collected data worldwide, from all 196 countries in the world. Which means that the Netherlands ranks 188th out of 196 countries when it comes to food self-sufficiency. Disappointing! We dangle at the bottom of the list of basic food necessities!

And every farmer giving up further lowers the Netherlands on that list!

Haag shouts to himself every day that thanks to this position as a top exporter, we can easily say goodbye to half of our farms in the Netherlands and their production: “we have enough!” Although this story is completely made up: the Netherlands can export so much, Dutch agriculture actually produces only 54% of what we need. The Netherlands is a net importer of food! This was already the case in 2012 – when FAO produced this report, and it still is.

In 2020, PBL also published an overview of the total land use required for Dutch consumption. To feed 17 million Dutch people, we need at least 3.4 million hectares of agricultural land, while the Netherlands only has 1.8 million hectares of agricultural land for food production. Data that is in line with FAO’s finding in 2012, as the report shows.

What would that mean for The Hague?

That with their many years of destructive agricultural policy they have already made the Netherlands terribly and dangerously dependent on other countries. For food, of course! The FAO report also mentions how dangerous it is to be so dependent: “Although the trade balance does not in itself indicate a negative development, it shows that more countries are now dependent on the whims of potentially volatile international markets for their food security.” (trans.: While the trade balance itself does not indicate a negative trend, it does show that several countries are dependent on the vagaries of potentially volatile international markets for their food security.)

The dependence on gas from Russia has shown how stupid it is to become dependent on other countries or regions. Becoming dependent on food from elsewhere is what Holland’s political madness has already led to. Our message to The Hague: protect the agricultural businesses that the Netherlands still has, the amazingly high efficiency and quality level of Dutch agriculture and the fact that the Dutch agricultural sector is in the top 5 most sustainable food systems worldwide.

It’s a much better way than the mindless policies you’ve had so far, or the farm-killing nitrogen policies with no scientific backing.

This report from the FAO proves us right once again. And makes us even more determined to continue the fight for the preservation of every farm in the Netherlands, for every hectare of farmland.

We need your support fighters! Because everything stands or falls at ALL4One!

The FDF board
19 October 2022

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