Belgapom, the professional association for the Belgian potato trade and processing sectors, is in Mexico on a trade mission, accompanied by high ranking government officials. The trade mission to Mexico is led by Princess Astrid. Belgapom also introduced his ambassador of Belgian fries, James Bint, in Mexico.
“What we see is that there is an increased interest in fries here, and Belgium is the largest exporter of frozen fries in the world,” says Romain Cools, general secretary of Belgapom. “We also experienced strong growth in this market of 300 percent last year.”
The Flemish Minister of Economic Affairs, Philippe Muyters (N-VA), who also accompanies the delegation, calls fries a “real national symbol of Belgium”. “We are proud to say that we have the best fries in the world. And we want to ensure that the generations after us will be able to claim this honour as well. This is why we have to invest in continued innovation in our potato industry, “says Muyters.
During a well-attended press event organised by the Belgian Ambassador in Mexico, Mr Antoine Evrard, in the presence of the Minister for Economic Affairs for the Walloon Region Mr Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Mr Philippe Muyters, the Minister for Economic Affairs for the Flemish Region, the Flemish and Belgian potato industry was put in the spotlight with the focus on the rich tradition and cooperation and constant innovation efforts within the processing industry in particular.
Belgapom Secretary-General Romain Cools provided an overview of the Belgian potato chain, with emphasis on the typical Belgian “frietkot” culture. This authenticity – recognised as national, cultural heritage – together with the dynamic nature of the entire potato chain forms the basis of this unique sector. The Belgian potato-processing sector now also wants to enable the Mexican consumer to enrich the rich variety of street food with real ‘papas fritas belgas’.
Some 20 food journalists and bloggers put it to the test and together with the invited guests enjoyed delicious fries served in a traditional Belgian cone with a Mexican chipotle sauce. A refreshing Belgian beer and a few delicious Belgian chocolates rounded off the tasting. And the Belgian ambassador of the “frietkot” culture, James Bint, saw that it was good.
Belgian fries were also present in Mexico on Monday evening at a “Sabores de Bélgica” event to display the Belgian food sector. Belgian companies Agristo and Mydibel were present at the event.