Belgium Urged Residents to Eat More Fries to Save Potato Industry

Belgium Urged to Eat More Fries to Save Potatoes from Being Waste

Belgium has urged residents to eat frozen fries twice a week to save the potato industry and potatoes from being waste amid coronavirus pandemic.

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Due to coronavirus lockdown implemented to contain the spread of the virus, restaurants, bars, and many Belgium stores that sell fries are close. With this, the trade association for the national potato industry is calling the attention of people to help save the industry.

“Traditionally, Belgians eat fries once a week, and it’s always a festive moment,” Romain Cools, the Belgapom secretary general, said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Now, we are asking them to eat frozen fries twice a week at home.”

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According to the report of Time, the demand for potatoes has dropped in recent weeks. The Belgian industry is facing a possible loss of 125 million euros ($ 135.5 million) if hundreds of tons of excess potatoes have not moved this year, Cools said.

“This is the first time in my 30-year career that I need to call on authorities for help,” he said. “The potato sector is so important. It should be helped because it’s a flagship for our whole industry.”

The industry is now finding new ways to save the stocks and avoid being waste. With the Dutch-speaking Flemish region of Belgium, Belgapom has launched a program to distribute at least 25 tons of potatoes to food banks weekly.

“In this way, part of the potato stock will still be used and we can avoid seeing excellent food, for which our farmers have worked so hard, being lost,” Flemish agriculture minister Hilde Crevits said.

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