Europe, UK, Ireland

The drought issue: Belgian potato fry processors alarmed as heat hampers production; Bintje variety much affected

FriesSpudnik News report earlier today that Belgium’s early season potato crop has already been reduced by about 30% due to the current European-wide heatwave, which especially damaged the size of the potatoes and the roughness of their skins. The ongoing unusually hot weather in Belgium has already ridden roughshod over the Bintje potato variety, a staple in the production of fries in that country. With the heatwave showing no signs of abating, Belgian fry makers are concerned that the Bintje variety cannot be handled as usual by processing peeling machines due to the roughness of their skins and small average size caused by the drought. Bernard Lefevre, president of Unafri-Navefri, the Belgian association overlooking the production of fries, said that “prices have already increased and potatoes will be smaller… “We are hopeful. Frites are essential. It is vital. It is part of our culture. It’s more than a product — it’s a symbol of Belgium.” Read more