• Fresh potatoes

  • Fresh potatoes

  • Fresh potatoes

About Belgian fresh potatoes

Flanders can look back on a rich tradition in potatoes. The region has the right types of soil and the ideal climate to cultivate many types of potatoes. These conditions, together with Flemish craftsmanship, produce potatoes of an excellent quality.

Flanders is in demand

Flanders has an enormous network of possible means of transport (by rail, road, water and air) and furthermore enjoys a central location in Europe. The Flemish potato trade is particularly export-oriented and is monitored in this by the government. To this end packaging and export companies must meet the strict quality regulations imposed. Better guarantees cannot be found anywhere else. Flanders is the hub of the international potato trade.

Inspection of Flemish potatoes

The authorised regional and federal government has created a framework that allows strict inspections to be carried out on the quality of Flemish potatoes in accordance with the European standards. Thanks to the ICQM standard, farmers can market a product that meets the standards with regard to the environment and technological quality.
Trade can rely on various private quality systems and on the self-inspection guide for trade in and processing of potatoes and fruit and vegetables. The self-inspection guide is recognised by the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain.

A sector-wide sampling plan, in consultation with the government, makes it possible to guarantee the absence of contaminants and organisms that are harmful for plants.
In addition, for years now each link in the chain is constantly working to assure and improve quality on its own terrain: environmentally friendly cultivation, potato-friendly harvesting, computer-driven storage and ventilation techniques, up-to-date packaging lines, constant extra training and research, tasting events, etc.

Traceability plays an important part in guaranteeing the safety of food; it makes it possible to at anytime and anywhere determine the origin of a load or batch. The goal is to guarantee good and plant safety.
For trade, traceability is in the first instance guaranteed by the preparation ID number: every recognised preparation company, packaging and export company is allocated a unique number by the government. This preparer number accompanies the potatoes throughout their journey right to the buyer.

Within each company, internal traceability, imposed by the Royal Decree concerning self-inspection, the notification obligation and traceability in the food chain, provides the link down to the production parcel and the seed material used. This is a supplement to the previously applied GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and the implementation of the HACCP principles.