EXPECTATIONS REGARDING THE ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROTECTED CULTIVATION
- I should like, Mr. President to make a few statements. Personally I feel it quite an honour to be number 1 on the speakers list. Thanks to the economic subject I have to deal with and it is quite economic to start with economics - because economics is the beginning and the end of the story.
- I must apologize that what I am going to say is a European viewpoint and I am sorry to look at it with Dutch eye-glasses.
I am pleased to discuss some economic aspects of protected cultivation with you at the beginning of this conference. Since 1950 this branch of horticulture has grown tremendously in Western Europe.
I want to discuss with you the following points:
- Development of the glasshouse industry in recent years.
- Strong and weak points of glasshouse products
- Competition from outdoor crops
- Competition from other sources
I shall try to give an explanation of this glasshouse explosion, and from the facts which will emerge prospects for the future may also be derived.
As stated, the acreage of vegetables under glass was greatly expanded in the period 1953-1965. This expansion took place as follows: Who built the glasshouses?
- established glasshouse growers extended their glasshouses;
- many intensive outdoor holdings switched over on a greater or lesser scale to glasshouse crops. In general business on this type of farm had not been flourishing, so they switched over to glasshouse crops.
- new glasshouse holdings were set up by market gardeners, sons of market gardeners, farmers and also outsiders, the last category only exceptionally;
- new glasshouse areas were occasionally set up on an organized project basis, sometimes combined with reconstruction of the area.