Like many other exporters to the UK market they have spotted the chance for expansion at the expense of the struggling British industry, and to grab a little more of the action in the retail sector.
"The British figures are declining so someone needs to fill those gaps," says Dutch Meat Board managing director Robert Smith.
"Traditionally our strength has been in foodservice, but we have improved our position within the supermarkets."
The second biggest Dutch pig processor, Hendrix Meat Group, is also increasing the priority it gives to retail.
Marketing manager Marc van der Lee says: "We're developing foodservice, but we can achieve more in retail."
One thing that may help the company raise its profile with retailers is Nutrace, a tracking and tracing system for pigmeat, which was launched earlier this year,
All processors want to build direct relations with the retailers and to that end the role of their UK representative, the Dutch Meat Board, has been substantially changed. The board will no longer be responsible for generic Dutch bacon promotions, and companies such as Hendrix will undertake direct promotional activity from January in conjunction with UK retailers. "It's about linking promotional support more directly to sales, working more closely with retailers," says Van der Lee. "We will be able to use their input with our own ideas."
The Dutch herd has shrunk from around 40 million pigs in the early 1990s to 11 million. However, rationalisation might have bottomed out, says Jos Jongerius, general secretary of the Dutch Meat and Livestocks Product Board, because the focus is shifting to processing. He explains: "The next World Trade Organisation round could open up Europe to cheap producers such as the Brazilians. This means we must differentiate our products, and add value."
To this end, the Dutch have expanded their quality assurance programme IKB, strengthening aspects such as animal welfare and salmonella testing.
The speed of change to the IKB system is also improving, allowing the system to adapt faster to market demand.
Overall, the Dutch are optimistic. Jongerius says: "Even when there's gloom with the farmers, there always remains opportunity with the end product."