Corona crisis hits production of Belgian fries

Several producers of Belgian fries have reported a slump in chip production.  Demand for potatoes has diminished as a result of the corona crisis.  It’s looking increasingly likely part of the potato harvest will have to be destroyed.

Romain Cools of Belgapom, the Belgian organisation of potato processing businesses: “Our products are no longer reaching the customer.  In the Netherlands there’s a glut of 1 million tons of potatoes.  The Belgian figure won’t be much lower.”

Due to the closure of restaurants and bars an important share of the market has dried up for the minute.  At potato processer Aviko in Poperinge (West Flanders) the production of Belgian fries has halved.  Philippe Debruyne: “Production of chips has stopped partially.  We’re still producing other potato specialities, though at a slower pace as employees have to keep a safe distance”.

Deepfreeze stores are choc-a-bloc with Belgian fries.  The company has had to rent extra storage capacity.  It's a similar story at chip producer Agristo in Harelbeke (West Flanders) where several production lines are at a standstill.  They too are looking for extra storage capacity.