Gateway to Europe

Companies from our industry are among the largest processors of oilseeds and tropical oils in Europe and are leading in processing, refining, production, collection, storage and transport of vegetable and animal oils and fats. The Netherlands has been strong in the processing of vegetable and animal oils and fats for many years. This is because of our geographic location, but also because of our agricultural background and our entrepreneurial spirit. As early as the Middle Ages there were many oil mills in the Netherlands: industrial mills specially built to press oil from oilseeds (rapeseed, peanuts and linseed). Animal fats were melted by butchers.

Excellent logistic possibilities

In 1871 the first margarine factory in the world was built in the Netherlands. Since then we have taken maximum advantage of the excellent logistic possibilities. The major development of the Rotterdam and Amsterdam ports and the good connections with the European hin­terland offered opportunities. Crude vegetable raw materials usually arrive by boat in Dutch ports as seeds, or after initial processing in the country of origin as crude oil.

The Netherlands is the fourth largest producer of marga­rine in Europe. The Netherlands occupies third place in Europe for the production of biodiesel. The Dutch storage and transshipment companies form the key logistic link for oils and fats in Northwestern Europe. Of the 2.5 million m3 storage capacity 1.5 million m3 is located in the Netherlands. With its 1.3 million m3, the port of Rotterdam is by far the largest in Europe for the storage and transshipment of vegetable and animal oils and fats and biodiesel. 50% of all European import goes through the Dutch ports.

Watching the video below (in Dutch) takes about 16 minutes of your time. It is not necessary to watch it to complete this module. But if you are interested in additional information about the Port of Rotterdam, it's highly recommended!


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