Photo report: Warnez doubles in size

Potato packaging company Warnez in Tielt, Belgium, had a party on Friday, 17 June. Over 450 guests could admire its new building. Warnez doubled in size, from 1.5 to 3 hectares. Additionally, the company has made several investments in things such as new machines, installations, automation and safety. Warnez offers a broad range of potatoes, from fresh ones to processed ones. They mostly supply product under their own label, but they also package under the brands of Pomvit and Get Potatoed.

Filip (left) and Jan (right) with the new generation
“Full steam ahead”
Customers, suppliers, growers, staff and other visitors were given a tour of the building. Jan Warnez, one of the owners, says they lacked space for a very long time already: “We had been ‘stuck’ for years and could not expand. We are finally ‘loose’ now, and we are going full steam ahead. With this space and the newest technologies we can serve our customers even better.” Together with Filip Warnez he manages the company, which employs about 50 staff on location in Tielt. Recently the third generation became active as well.

“Proud of Jan and Filip”
“Potatoes are real trendsetters,” according to Jan in the company film. “That is why we have the brand ‘Get Potatoed.’ Everyone should eat potatoes, we want people to be enthusiastic.” During his speech, he and Filip showed their gratitude to all those present; the family for always supporting them, staff and suppliers for their effort, and customers for their trust. “Our philosophy is to build long-term relationships. That way we are well-founded and can grow with our customers.” Peter van Steenkiste, production manager for Warnez, thanked the owners on behalf of the employees. “We are proud of Jan and Filip, who, in a world of consolidation, operate independently, albeit surrounded by a sophisticated network. Together we look at what the market demands, and we continue to improve ourselves continuously. Get Potatoed!”

Warnez has an automated warehouse, where potatoes are stored after passing the optical cameras. A daily buffer is in this storage room to play on the ball and to flexibly pack small and large quantities. Another part of the products is packaged immediately. “Our customers have their own wishes and besides, we offer a whole range of products. That is why people can choose from, as it were, a buffet of packaging and varieties. In total we have ten packaging lines and we can anticipate every demand.”

Since January 2016, the organic department is completely housed in the building Ten Hove, also in Tielt. “A separate organic potato department is unique in Belgium. By completely separating conventional and organic there is no longer is a risk of contamination.”
Project Belgapom
Romain Cools, secretary of Belgapom, also gave a short speech. He congratulated the company on their beautiful and innovative expansion, and he indicated that the dynamic of the Belgian potato sector was clearly being confirmed here. In addition, he talked about the CSR project, which is also being supported by Warnez. “Belgapom collected money with Trias and other partners for projects globally. There was a project in Ecuador from 2012 until 2015 with small potato cooperatives. Several investments were made, including into good horticultural practices, healthy seeds and marketing. The new project, during 2016 and 2017, takes place in Peru. Cooperative Apurimac, which supplies freeze-dried potatoes, is involved this time. Because of climate changes they did not have enough cold weather, so we offered them a freezing plant. We have already raised several thousands Euro, and to realise this we will need 20,000 Euro.”

The Warnez family company has been packaging fresh potatoes since 1950. “We were able to achieve our growth by bringing strategic partners together in a vertical chain from grower to final consumer. Today, potatoes are offered in as many fresh varieties as possible, from basic products to very special strains of potatoes in small packaging.” Warnez supplies its products to food service and Belgian retail. Besides Warnez, PantaRei Group also covers the companies Tat BVBA (transportation) and Pomfresh (peeling company).

For more information:
Warnez Potatoes
Marialoopsesteenweg 2L
B-8700 – Tielt - Belgium 
T: +32 051 400812

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