European organizations looking to find alternative markets for surplus potatoes

The organisations UNPT (National Union of Potato Producers, France), ABS (Algemeen Boerensyndicaat, Flanders) and FWA (Walloon Federation of Agriculture) launched a project last year with the aim to find alternative markets in the North of France, Wallonia, and Flanders during seasons of an overproduction of potatoes. The Interreg GEPOS project was started last January and is being carried out with the support of the European Regional Development Fund. It will be finalised in July 2019. The organizations say that during the past 10 years, three seasons were marked by a very large surplus of potatoes produced, and consequently very bad prices. During these years, large volumes of “very cheap” potatoes were available, which made it necessary for growers to find alternative market outlets for surplus potatoes not absorbed by existing agreements. 

The establishment of outlets that will be able to absorb very large volumes of potatoes, but only during these particular seasons is needed. This requires prior agreements, as well as convincing producers to collaborate on a large scale and across borders, to deliver these volumes of potatoes on favourable terms.

The project is said to develop a decision support system which will make it possible to have an estimate of total production at the start of each season, and whether or not there might be a real possibility of a significant surplus in potatoes. It will examine the possibilities for different alternative market outlets to absorb these volumes of potatoes if overproduction occurs, and under which conditions. The project will focus on animal food, the potato starch industry, biogas (methanation), and industrial as well as farm composting sectors. Report in Dutch

For further information:
UNPT: François-Xavier Broutin
+33 623 174 035
fx.broutin@producteursdepommesdeterre.org
ABS: Guy Depraetere
+32 475 326 936
guy.depraetere@absvzw.be
FWA: Alain Masure
+32 81 62 74 17
alain.masure@fwa.be