For the first time RTL Patat was present on Interpom Primeurs. "Certainly a successful fair up to now" father Rik and son Remy Tanghe said on Monday. "On the first day the number of visitors was even overwhelming." At the RTL Patat stand
the most important varieties were shown, suitable for export and processing. "We consider it important to show clients that part of the varieties are suitable for various uses. An example is the Challenger, which is used for export and processing. Other varieties, which were shown are Fontane, Ramos and Melody. The last one is especially popular as a table potato in England."
Father Rik (right) and son Remy Tanghe
RTL Patat have specialised in sorting, washing, packing and supplying potatoes. The company was established in 1928 by the great-grandfather of the present owner, Rik Tanghe. His son Remy grew up in the company and shortly will, after completing his studies, work full time. About 400 growers supply potatoes to RTL Patat and these are in the Walloon provinces, West Flanders and Northern France. The products are transported by own transport to the clients. The most important clients in the area of processing are in Belgium, the Netherlands and France. "We try and cooperate with the most important players in the industry. What clients appreciate from us is our versatility and flexibility," Remy continues. "The largest part of our potatoes are supplied to the processing industry, but that changes from year to year.
The export markets as well change per season. Two years ago Russia was an important client and at the moment this is the UK because of the bad harvest. We expect the export to the East Block, Spain and Portugal to increase after Christmas."
A lot of automation
"In order to keep expenses of sorting and packing as low as possible and to be aware of sustainability much in our company has been automated. As a result we can
control peaks as well. We are actually constantly looking for new ways to run the company in the best possible way. Two years ago we invested in a new washing line. Because of this optical sorting machine we more than doubled our capacity to about 70 tons. The old line we changed into a mobile washer, so that now we can go to the clients and wash on location. In the beginning everything was transported to us, but now this can be done at the grower and that saves a lot of time!"