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Belgapom Chief: ‘A new lockdown could be devastating for the industry!’

In an exclusive interview with Dan Orehov, Managing Editor at Potato BusinessSecretary General of Belgapom, Romain Cools, talked about the current situation of potato consumption and trade in Belgium, on the background of the pandemic. They also discussed the future of the Belgian potato, from farm to fork, and the impact that foodservice industry closure has had so far on the overall potato business.

On the current situation of the potato industry in Belgium and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Romain Cools said: “We have noticed, based on GfK and Nielsen figures that the potato consumption (fresh and frozen) has increased since the outbreak of the Coronavirus crisis. Fresh markets still have a surplus up to 50% and frozen products up to 20%. This is logical, as home consumption has replaced out of home eating.

“As soon as foodservice will be starting up again, this will have an effect on consumption patterns. However, the distancing rules and the reluctance for consumers to go out for lunch or dinner will still influence the figures.

Romain Cools told Potato Business that the industry hopes that foodservice can reopen again asap in most countries. “However, we believe that it will take some time until we can talk about a process of a large scale of vaccination, before things can go back to normal. On the other hand, a new lockdown could be devastating for the industry!

Source: Read the extensive interview in Potato Business here
Photo: Romain Cools | Potato Business

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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