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Belgapom announces major organizational changes going forward

The Belgian potato trade organisation, Belgapom was founded in 1947 as a recognised professional association. Now, 73 years later, following the “Law on Associations and Companies” that abolished recognised professional associations in Belgium, Belgapom’s General Assembly decided to continue life as a non-profit organisation.

A new Board elected

In addition, a new board was elected. The following members will represent the trade section: Marc Bauden (Marc Bauden), Ben Muyshondt (Pomuni Fresh & Trade), Bart Nemegheer (Aardappelhoeve), Marc Seru (MSAV) Rik Tanghe (RTL Patat) and Heike Valcke (Valcke aardappelen).

The following board members represent the processing industry section: Jan Clarebout (Clarebout), Yves De Vinck (Roger & Roger), Wim Lannoey (Remofrit), Hannelore Raes (Agristo), Emanuel Van den Broeke (Lutosa) and Marc Van Herreweghe (Mydibel).

Mandate of Marc Van Herreweghe as president extended

The new governing body extended Marc Van Herreweghe’s mandate as president. Vice presidents Hannelore Raes and Ben Muyshondt will assume the section presidencies of the Processing Industry and Trade sections respectively.

Romain Cools, outgoing secretary, was appointed acting CEO

The major challenges that the potato chain is currently facing besides the Covid-19 pandemic include Brexit, the impending Green Deal, the replacement of CIPC as a sprout inhibitor by natural products, the unjustified allegations of dumping in a number of export countries, but also the increasing protectionist tendencies within the EU. In addition to this, Belgapom must once again look for a successor to Romain Cools, who is retiring in 2021 after serving for 30 years as secretary.

Tom Vandenkendelaere will not accept the mandate as Belgapom’s CEO

Tom Vandenkendelaere informed the Belgapom president that he will not any longer accept the mandate to act as CEO of Belgapom which he would have taken up on 1 January, 2021.

Tom Vandenkendelaere: “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans, John Lennon once said. I would have loved to become the CEO of Belgapom, but I’m being called on to fulfil another, also important role once again. When Kris Peeters becomes the vice president of the European Investment Bank as he’s announced, I intend to refill the vacant seat in the European Parliament. However that mandate is incompatible with my role at Belgapom.

“The choice I had to make was a very difficult one, but I’ve made it in good faith. What’s more, I can raise the concerns of the Belgian potato sector in the European Parliament better than anywhere else. Agriculture is the European Union’s chief competence and in the future it will once again be one of my key issues.”

“I understand that it’s something of a shock for the members of Belgapom, Vegebe and Fresh Trade Belgium” says Tom Vandenkendelaere. “With dossiers such as Brexit, free trade agreements that are coming under pressure, the Green Deal… it will however soon become clear how important it is to be heard and represented at European level. The sector can count on me,” Tom Vandenkendelaere concludes.

Source: Belgapom

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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