Aviko recently revealed plans to direct a major investment in its production capacity in Poperinge, Belgium. The announcement follows approval by Aviko’s parent company Royal Cosun. The capital injection includes the establishment of an entirely new production facility for frozen French fries and potato flakes for markets in Western Europe, Asia, and South America.
“The global market for frozen potato products continues to grow at around 4% per year. Additional processing capacity will allow us to take advantage of this rapidly growing market and realize our ambitious growth targets. After a thorough assessment of cultivation, logistics, and the market, Poperinge in the South of Belgium was determined as the best region to expand our mainstream capacity,” said Ton Christiaanse, CEO of Aviko Group.
The new plant with a capacity of 175,000 tons of frozen fries and 11,000 tons flakes annually, will include wastewater treatment, a 40m high cold store, a factory, a washing and sorting area and flakes production. In Proven, a close-by sub-municipality of Poperinge, Aviko already has a production site for deep-frozen fries and potato specialties with around 275 employees. This production site will focus entirely on the production of potato specialties. The current frozen fries production will be transferred to Poperinge. When fully operational, the new facility will employ approximately 155 employees, including 45 coming over from Proven. Start-up is expected to commence in September 2021.
Avioko’s ambition is to realize growth in a sustainable and responsible manner with respect for people, society, and the environment. Therefore, throughout the various stages of design, construction, and operation the highest levels of sustainability are met. This includes high combined energy efficiency, minimal loss of potato material, full reprocessing of residual material, reuse of water, rooftop solar panels and a cold store built in accordance with BREEM requirements – an assessment tool for the sustainability performance of buildings.