Potato manufacturers in the Netherlands are approaching the 4 million tons of processed potatoes mark annually. From March 2016 to February 2017 3.942 million tonnes of potatoes were processed into consumer products in the Netherlands
Processing figures from the NAO (Dutch Potato Organization) shows that 334,000 tons of potatoes have been processed in the Netherlands in February 2017. Last year in the same month, the processing volume stood at over 306,000 tonnes.
With an average processing volume of 340 000 tonnes of potatoes per month, the mark of 4 million tonnes will be reached around next summer, expects Hylke Brunt, General Secretary of the Vavi (Association for the Potato Processing Industry in the Netherlands).
Hylke Brunt, General Secretary of the Vavi:
"Reaching this milestone is a direct result of the investment by the Dutch potato industry in capacity expansion."
Dutch processors have made 2.252 million tons of finished product of the total 3.942 million tons of potatoes in the past twelve months.
The processing efficiency thus comes to 57.1 percent. That is 3 percent higher than in the period from March 2015 to February 2016.
According to Brunt this is an indication that manufacturers use their raw material more efficiently.
"Furthermore, it is a result of increased underwater weight of potatoes harvest in 2016 and the average long tubers that give less loss in the process."
More than 160,000 tons in last month processed potatoes in the Netherlands came from abroad. The 47.9 percent share of foreign supply is thus considerably higher than the 36 percent in February 2016.
Raw material from abroad
Vavi does not believe that this is a trend. Processing Figures from last fall shows that the share of foreign processed product was less than the year before. One explanation is that the potato producers in the harvest of 2016 had more access to Dutch potatoes grown on sand. In recent months, the Dutch industry comparatively used more potatoes from Belgium.
For next year Vavi assumes that the acreage remains stable at just over 70,000 hectares. There is barely room for more potatoes, Brunt concludes.
"With starch and potato seedlings are summed to a total of over 150,000 hectares of their limit. The starting point is an area of arable land of just over 500,000 hectares."
" The expansion of production volumes at existing growers will have to come mainly from higher yields per hectare."