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Romain Cools, Belgapom: ‘This could well become the toughest NW European potato season in 50 years’

Last week, the North-western European Potato Growers (NEPG) association announced their harvest estimate for the 2020/2021 season. They reckon potato yields will be between 27 and 27,3 million tons. That’s for the five most important potato-growing countries in North-western Europe.

“These results correspond with the information we got from various parties,” Romain Cools of Belgapom, in Belgium told Sharon de Ridder of AGF Netherlands . “According to some, this could become a disastrous year. But, the yields are actually surprisingly higher than many estimated.”

Romain Cools

“There are, however, vast differences between plots, varieties, and regions. Belgium isn’t faring so well thanks to the lower rainfall in the country. Belgium has the lowest irrigation capacity too.

“We’ve determined that the local market sales aren’t yet at pre-corona crisis levels. Certainly not to the hospitality, food service, and industrial kitchen sectors. There, we’re still way off the pre-COVID-19 situation. Sales to retailers are, however, going well. But, these don’t compensate for the drop in exports and sales to hospitality and catering businesses.”

…Unfortunately, these are hard times for this great product. Many people in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Germany rely on the potato industry. So, it’s crucial that people, including politicians, take this industry seriously. Our suppliers, growers, traders, and processors hope the government will support them through this tough time,” Romain said.

Source: FreshPlaza. Read the full story here.
Author: Sharon de Ridder can be reached at [email protected]
Romain Cools can be reached at [email protected]
Photo: PotatoPro

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