In a press issued today by the NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers), the organization says the total consumption potato area in North-Western Europe, the NEPG area, has been estimated at 578.821 ha, which is 4.6% more than last year and 8.3% more than the 5 year average. All 5 countries increased their potato area with Belgium on top with 5.4%. This is based upon the latest NEPG country estimates. Due to the growth of the processing capacity and the export of ready product outside the EU, the NEPG estimates that there will be an additional need for raw material of around 750.000 tons for next season. Especially the Belgium processing capacity is expanding, so the extra area in this country is in line with the increased demand, although harvest of the Belgium early processing varieties is estimated to be 20 – 25% less than last year. According to the NEPG it is still too early to estimate a total harvest for the NEPG region. Full press release includes tables with detailed figures.