The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality represent the Dutch government in the AD Partnership.

The Dutch government promotes inclusive, deforestation-free agricultural commodities and the conservation and restoration of high conservation value forests. Our interventions focus on three areas: 1st – improving public and private forest governance by creating enabling conditions such as effective policy and legislation, in particular on spatial planning, land rights and monitoring; 2nd – an integrated, multi-stakeholder approach which focuses on the commitment of all relevant partners (local communities, governments and private sector); 3rd – improvement of local communities and small producers, with special attention to women, youth and indigenous peoples.


The Netherlands is the world’s second largest grinder (by Cargill, ADM and ECOM) after Côte d’Ivoire and imports mainly directly from West Africa (79% of total import from mainly Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana). The Netherlands also re-exports cocoa beans (almost 30%) to other European countries. Almost 79% of cocoa exports goes to Germany, which is the main chocolate producer country (but also to France and Italy).

In 2010, the Netherlands stakeholders pledged to achieve 100 % consumption of sustainably produced cocoa by 2025 (80 % by 2020 and 50 % by 2015). In 2010 approximately 10-15% of cocoa-related consumption in the Netherlands was certified as sustainably produced. The Netherlands stakeholders work together in the Chocolate Working Group. Currently, the level of certification is at about 70%. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) determined that the level of certification is at 58% based upon a survey of 464 companies. This means the Dutch cocoa sector is currently on track.

Palm oil

Palm oil is mainly imported from South-East Asia (Indonesia and Malaysia) but the share of palm oil from Latin America (Colombia) is increasing. The branch organisation for palm oil is MVO Oils & Fats. They coordinate the Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil (DIASPO) related to the European Sustainable Palm Oil initiative (ESPO). ESPO and DIASPO have a similar commitment towards 100% sustainable palm oil by 2020. The Netherlands commitment includes the food and feed sector.

In 2016, 90% of the palm oil used in the Netherlands food industry was RSPO certified (Monitoring report ESPO 2017). The proportion of RSPO certified palm oil in the domestic consumption is 100%.

The proportion of RSPO certified palm oil in the Netherlands feed industry in 2016 was 53%.

Roughly half of the palm oil imported into the Netherlands is used for biofuel. However, since 2016 the Netherlands does not use biofuels based on palm oil for its domestic consumption.


Soya is mainly imported from Latin America (Brazil, Argentina) and the USA. In 2018 (Dutch) soya importers increased their sourcing from the USA market due to the sharp fall in price of the USA soya.

An industry commitment supported by Government and NGO’s to reach 100% sustainable soya (RTRS or equivalent) for all soya imported into The Netherlands by 2015 was defined in 2010.

In the Netherlands roughly 30% of the imported soya is used in the Dutch feed industry of which one third is consumed on the Dutch market. The other two-thirds of the soya is used in the Dutch feed sector and is exported in the form of dairy products, eggs and meat. In 2018 the percentage of RTRS soya used in the Dutch feed industry reached 72%, covering the entire domestic consumption and more than half of the exports. The rest of the soya that is used in the Dutch feed industry meets the requirements of the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines i.e. is legally sourced but not necessarily deforestation-free. In addition to soya used in the Dutch feed industry a small percentage is used in the food industry and in other industries. Most of the soya imported to the Netherlands (70%) is directly (or after the crushing/refining process) exported to other European countries, mainly to Germany. For this soya it is not yet known whether it is sustainable or whether it does at least comply with the FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines. Further cooperation between the ADP countries and with the private sector is needed.