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Potato Processing Industry in Belgium continues its growth

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Potato Processing Industry in Belgium continues its growth

May 07
10:34 2013

The Belgian potato processing industry has seen a spectacular growth during the last decades. 

The companies active in this sector have grown from 500.000 tons of processed potatoes in 1990 to 3,65 million tons of raw material in 2012. This means a new increase of about 5,4 % compared with 2011. This is not just a success for the processing companies, most of them family owned enterprises, but also for the with primary producers – the potato farmers – and the traders.

The Belgian potato processing industry has become the world’s largest exporter of frozen potato products, ahead of the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. The remarkable increase in exports to third countries characterises this growth.

Countries in South-America, Africa, Asia and Oceania have started to enjoy the rich tradition and quality of the Belgian fries.

Growth in 2012 was driven in particular by the increase in frozen and refrigerated french fries production. Other products as chips and mashed potato products have experienced a stagnation compared to last year.

With an amount of more than 71 million Euro also the investments within the Belgian processing companies have increased significantly compared to the latest years. Investments have been made as well on quantity as quality level, with a special attention to environment and sustainability. Also the figures of direct employment in the industry confirm a positive trend.

The increase in production in 2012 is even more remarkable when you take in consideration the lower production of potatoes in large parts of the traditional growing area for the Belgian potato processing industry during the season 2012 – 2013 and the record yield during the previous season.

The low potato production was due to the extremely wet spring – disturbing the planting, the short summer and again abundant rain during the fall – preventing even a number of fields from being harvested

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