This week, word came that it is all hands on deck at Belgian potato processors. Ukraine and Russia supply 75% of that country's sunflower oil. They use that to process potatoes into French fries and potato chips. The war is, thus, causing a shortage. "We're still sure of only another month's deliveries; longer than that, we don't know," says Hannelore Raes, CEO of Agristo.
Two-thirds of Belgian fries processors' production uses sunflower oil. "So, we definitely have to consider alternatives, like sustainable palm oil. However, high demand has pushed up those prices too. We now have to discuss switching to alternatives with customers."
Hannelore does not think there will be any major short-term problems. "For the long term, it's a matter of conjecture. We're currently mainly confronted with the cost increases. Production-wise, we can continue for now," he concludes.
Dutch factories are concerned too, reports De Telegraaf newspaper. The last trucks from Ukraine arrived in early March, with no further supplies. Many companies will have problems. In three to five weeks, many companies will begin to have issues.