In the future, the European and global network will become more important. Belgapom has to play its role in relation to this jigsaw of organizations, taking into consideration the specific approach of multinational organized companies. The Belgian and European potato processing industry is a young and dynamic sector and its voice needs to be heard at all levels, in Belgium, in Europe as well as Globally.
What are Belgapom’s most pressing issues and how does it best represent its members?
Currently and related to this special season: the relationship with our main suppliers – the farmers – will be the most pressing issue. How can we settle the contracts and how will we evolve in the future? How do we see our market organization? And how will the main clients (retail & food service) react on this season.
In the meantime, Belgapom already worked out a number of initiatives allowing its members to maximize the deployment of the current crop and minimize the waste levels.
Going forward we have a number of important issues:
• trade (Brexit, anti-dumping clauses)
• health (contaminants, plant protection products)
• sustainability (long term vision, further reduction of food waste)
• environment and also plant diseases.
Not to forget innovation in the framework of the 4th industrial revolution: we have an opportunity to change not only what we do but also how we do things in our industry. A number of opportunities will only be achieved if we look outside of our current ECO systems and involve the right partners to make sure we don’t reinvent the wheel, we need to make sure that we continue to look at the whole value chain.
What are the current challenges associated with technology and its uses, in order to ensure better coordination in the entire potato chain?
Food and plant safety, environment and sustainability are main issues on the agenda and technology can play a huge roll in this to enable a functional platform accessible for farmers, trade and processors. Traceability, documents, training … all of these elements have to be set up in a modern and interactive way in order to be successful at the level of all links in the value chain.
The use of Data is going to be very different going forward, on the one hand we have to make sure we will be able to handle all these Data, as well as we have to make sure we connect all the data whilst maintaining one version of the truth. We have to enable that we can turn these Data into information across the whole industry, ideally in an integrated way.
“For sure the weather conditions had and will have an impact on the yield of this year’s crop. We see that the impact can be very different across the EU region and several organizations and interest groups have been trying to predict the yield.”