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Belgapom, the professional organisation of the Belgian potato trade and processing industry.

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Belgian fries steal the show at the Belgian World Expo pavilion in Milan!

08/06/2015 11:08 My name is Bint ... James Bint, and I have a license to fry! With these words every day thousands of fans of Belgian fries are welcomed to the chip shop of the Belgian pavilion at the World Expo in...

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The book : 'The potato in Belgium, land of fries' is for sale now !

13/06/2015 16:38

Belgapom, the Belgian potato trade and processig industry, and the editor Canalazzo, have jointly edited the wonderful book 'The potato in Belgium, land of fries'. 

This book gives an overview of the history of the potato in Belgium, from the Inca period in Peru over the Belgian 'frites shop' culture and the Belgian top restaurants and their chefs, till the worldwide export of frozen potato products and the future plans of this dynamic sector. The book offers a view over the complete potato chain.

The Belgian Queen Mathilde has received the first issue of this book during her visit of the World Expo in Milano, where the Belgian fries sector is present in the Belgian pavillon with a very successful fries shop and the new campaign with "James Bint".

The book is one to read and to look at, with wonderful illustrations and numerous testymonies from several angles.

The book is available via Belgapom at the price of € 29,95 + shipping costs, and is available in Dutch, French and English. This book has its place in the library of every potato professional and/or lover. 

Belgapom, together with Trias, welcomed a delegation of South-American potato farmers

10/06/2015 11:44

From 24 May to 2 June the NGO Trias introduced the range of Flemish potatoes to five Peruvian and Ecuadorian farmers. These inhabitants of the Andes had come to draw inspiration in order to create added value in their sector.

During recent years, producer cooperatives in Peru and Ecuador supported by Trias have worked for a better yield and improved marketing of their crops. Today they are trying to make the next step: grading potatoes by size, and washing and bagging them.

Ideal location

“For the farmers of the Andes our country is the ideal place to expand their perceptions. Belgium achieves record yields in potato cultivation and is the world leader in the export of frozen fries,” affirms Kristof Volckaert of Trias. 

The programme of this study trip included visits to potato farms and trading and processing companies, to the Proefcentrum voor de Aardappelteelt  [Research Centre for Potato Cultivation] and the marketing specialists of the VLAM [Flanders Agricultural Marketing Fisheries Board]. Trias was in charge of coordinating the visit, with the support of the Boerenbond [Farmers’ Union], Belgapom and Rotary Torhout Houtland.

Sustainable collaboration

After a visit to the potato-processing company “Aardappelhoeve” in Tielt, a meeting was held between the delegation and Belgapom and Rotary Torhout representatives. The latter partners worked with technical college VTI Torhout on the design of a modified washing and processing machine. This project had been presented at Interpom Primeurs and enjoyed the attention of the Flemish education minister, Hilde Crevits. The students of VTI Torhout who devised this project put their savings together and organised a number of schemes in order to visit the potato cooperative Conpapa in Ecuador this summer.

The financing for the construction of this machine was vouched for by Belgapom and Rotary Torhout, with the cooperation of Ondernemers voor Ondernemers [Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs] and Viafonds, the food industry social fund.

Furthermore, in early June a delegation from Belgapom and Rotary Torhout will take part in an immersion trip to Chimborazo in Ecuador in order to strengthen exchanges and sustainable collaboration.

This unique collaboration goes back to 2008, when in the wake of the United Nations International Year of the Potato, Belgapom and the Boerenbond decided to support the Trias Conpapa project in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Since then this cooperative has become a stronger enterprise, with quality equipment and improved techniques of crop cultivation, preservation and marketing.

In a next stage, the new washing and processing machine will bring a fine added value to this enterprise, and will sustain the incomes of the families concerned. 

Multiplier effect

Trias wants to use this Conpapa project as an example for other collaboration agreements in the South-American Andes. Fredy Quispe Cruz, vice-president of the young potato cooperative Coopagros in Peru, told his narrative in the hope of improving the incomes of dozens of families, as was the case for Conpapa in Ecuador.

At the end of the visits to the various businesses in the potato chain, including the processing company Agristo in Harelbeke, a round table of representatives from the South-American cooperatives, Belgapom, Boerenbond and Trias focused on the steps to be taken for the development of these enterprises.