“The potato sector is in a very special and difficult situation at the moment. The corona crisis has caused the price of the old potato crop to plummet, which makes it very difficult for imported potatoes to sell,” says Johan Kant of Kalisa Trading. “We import Egyptian potatoes, but they are currently being sold at half of the normal price, because the Belgian potatoes are sold at much lower prices. This is definitely not normal!”
Kant believes the current situation is terrible. “The foreign potato exporters are tired of sending their potatoes to Europe when they have to be sold at such low prices, but the programs were already made in January 2020. Corona has blown the whole situation out of the water. If the factories could have continued to run, everything would have been a lot better. When the corona virus is almost over, the factories will be lurking to buy the last old European chip suitable potatoes for scraps. The potatoes in the sheds are still good for processing until August,” says Johan.
“My biggest wish is that we don’t have a second corona outbreak. Hopefully the restaurants and chip shops can start slowly again and the market can pick up again. We are now past the lowest point in potato prices. If there is a new outbreak of the virus, I’m afraid the whole sector is going to fail. For now we continue to have hopes for a positive outcome,” Johan concludes.