Europe, UK, Ireland

Increasing protests against new potato processing plant in Belgium

According to a report published in the Dutch news magazine Boeren Business, a new plant that potato processor Clarebout intends to build in the south of Belgium is the source of a number of local protests.

Clarebout announced earlier this year that they want to build a  new factory in Frameries. The potato processor wants to start building this plant by the end of the year. Initially, the construction of the plant was seen as positive, because it would create 300 to 500 jobs.

However, local residents have now started opposing construction of the facility, reports the Flemish business newspaper De Tijd. They fear the smell of frying fat and rotten potatoes. In addition, the neighborhood residents do not want to experience nuisance from freight traffic and they are also against the environmental impact of factory waste.

Politicians and policy makers are being threatened and held responsible for the fact that Clarebout was granted permission to build the plant. Local politicians are now investigating whether there are alternative locations for the factory, although Clarebout has already indicated that this is not an option.

According to the report by Boeren Business, the protests against the new Clarebout factory is not the first of its kind. It has also been shown previously that FarmFrites’ growth plans are sensitive. There is also a lot of opposition to a new Agristo factory in West Flanders.

Read the report by Anne Jan Doorn in the Dutch language in Boeren Business.