A Bright Outlook for Dutch Seafood Processing: The Netherlands’ New Formula for Success

After a period of high uncertainty in 2020, the Dutch seafood sector emerged stronger than before, positioned for future growth. Following the first year of the pandemic, the sector set new records in trade value, with 2021 exhibiting the largest single-year growth in seafood export value. Dutch traders and processors made many smart choices, including successfully identifying winning species, regions for sourcing raw materials, and sales markets.

In the long term, per capita consumption in the Netherlands’ main export destinations is expected to remain relatively stable. However, the post-pandemic consumer’s growing affinity for high-value seafood in retail channels will be the key driver for Dutch processed seafood’s export value growth. The Dutch industry’s ongoing shift to a value-over-volume approach – with a focus on additional value-added processing and premiumization – will be the key differentiator between Dutch seafood exports and those from countries with lower-cost processing.