Bart Nemegheer, the Potato Farm:

Belgium: “Nervous potato market due to shortages”

For those growers still meaning to harvest part of their potato crop, times are anxious. “The rain is pelting down and it’s next to impossible to do anything useful,” says Bart Nemegheer of the Aardappelhoeve. “Down where we are [in Tielt, Belgium], things are manageable. I think about 10% of the crop is still in the ground, but near the coast it’s much worse. In Calais, even over in the UK, a big chunk still needs to be harvested. We are starting to hear stories of potatoes rotting in the fields.”

According to Bart there’s tension in the air. “Yields are much lower than anticipated. In the beginning people were relatively optimistic, but now this huge impending shortage is staring us right in the face. The market is tighter than was thought possible. Prices are absurdly high. Bintje is catching 250 Euro per ton right now.”

“Because of this, export has almost ground to a halt. Most countries can’t even afford it. Nobody is buying.” Bart thinks it is hard to predict the near future. “All we know right now is that the high price ranges are affecting trade. A lot of buyers want estimates, and are then never heard of again. There is little to no export in organic produce. My guess is things will probably remain hairy for a while.”

For more information:
Bart Nemegheer
De Aardappelhoeve
Putterijstraat 7A
8700 Tielt - België
T: +32-477 291784
F: +32- 514 09501

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