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Belgian potato farmers struggle as big companies reap profits, according to new report

A new Greenpeace report unveiled on Wednesday highlights significant imbalances between the profits of seven big companies involved in purchasing and processing potatoes and the minimal incomes of farmers, according to a news story published by The Brussels Times.

According to the NGO, about 90% of the Belgian potato market is dominated by seven companies. These large agri-food firms, according to Albane Aubry, agriculture campaigner at Greenpeace Belgium, “set the rules of the market, to the detriment of farmers, consumers, and the environment,” making substantial profits while farmers struggle.

The report reveals that the combined turnover of these companies increased by 44% between 2021 and 2022, reaching €3.4 billion. Meanwhile, consumer prices for potatoes have surged by 61% since 2015, and frozen chip prices rose by 51% in 2022 alone.

Given the current situation, where poor crop yields due to adverse weather are impacting farmers, Greenpeace calls for increased negotiating power for farmers and governmental intervention in potato pricing. They propose that prices should reflect real farming production costs and cap the excessive profit margins of agribusiness and large-scale retailers.

Source: The Brussels Times. Read the original story here
Image: Credit Belga

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