As part of a three-year promotional campaign to expand the presence of Belgium’s frozen potato products in the South-East Asia region, one of Belgium’s most beloved national dishes, the Belgian Fries are being presented in the Philippines in a grand scale in this year’s WOFEX Manila 2018 slated from August 1 – 4, 2018. For someone who loves potatoes as much as I do, this is good news.
Flanders Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM) bring together the five major Belgian fries exporters namely, Agristo, Bart’s Potato Company, Clarebout Potatoes, Ecofrost and Mydibel to participate at WOFEX 2018 under the “Belgian Fries” banner to widen their networks, increase their share in the Philippines’ growing market for processed potato products, and heighten awareness of Belgian fries in the Philippines and the region. This is the first time that the delicious Belgian fries are being presented in the Philippines at such a scale.
During the media launch held at Sofitel last July 30, 2018, it is highlighted that these five companies represent the five biggest family-owned businesses in the industry in Belgium offering a wide range of potato products and specialties that are exported to over 100 countries worldwide. What is amazing is that the companies are all halal-certified.
The Philippines is next in line after the five-nation promotion campaign in Southeast Asia with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam that was coordinated by VLAM and Belgapom, the association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry.
Mr. Romain Cools from Belgapom shared that, “We are pleased to bring Belgian fries to the Philippines this time around, as part of our plan to increase our presence in the Southeast Asian region. There is an existing market in this region for our products, but we see an even bigger opportunity to expand exports and heighten appreciation for our national delicacy. Southeast Asia is one of the largest fast-growing regions of the world, with a rising middle class, rapid urbanisation and an overall young population. These trends, together with Belgium’s high food standards and innovation, will continue to drive demand in the region and beyond, and our industry is ready to reply to this in an original way, since our Belgian fries are truly different from those from other countries.”
“The Philippines is well-known as a food-lover’s paradise, and Philippine consumers really know and love good food. Belgian fries are still relatively unknown in the Philippines, so we are excited about this opportunity to share one of Belgium’s most beloved national dishes with the Philippines. Golden yellow and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, Belgian fries, or frites, as we call them, are a true Belgian delicacy that is delicious either as a side served with steak, or as an appetizing snack with a mayonnaise-based sauce!”
Belgium is the largest exporter of frozen fries in the world, with 90% of its production freighted to the global market. In 2016, Belgian fries exports rose 14.3% to 1.68 million tonnes in 2016 from a year earlier, with an increasing share going to countries outside EU.
Belgian fries have a long history and have become part of the country’s heritage, with many shops and stands in Belgium serving this delicious savory snack. In fact, the ubiquitous Belgian fry shops that can be found in every city or village have been recognised as part of the cultural landscape in Belgium, with UNESCO status being sought for the dish since 2014.