Steenderen, Holland-headquartered Aviko, one of Europe’s biggest producers of frozen, fresh, dried and specialty potato products, has unveiled plans for major expansion of its production capacity in Poperinge, Belgium. The announcement on September 12 followed approval by parent company Royal Cosun, a £2 billion-plus agro-industrial cooperative and manufacturer of products and ingredients for food, non-food applications and the chemical industry.
The investment includes the establishment of an entirely new production facility for frozen french fries and potato flakes for distribution to customers in Western Europe, Asia and South America. An artist’s rendering of what the new plant will look like is seen above.
“The global market for frozen potato products continues to grow at around 4% per year. Additional processing capacity will allow us to take full advantage of this rapidly growing market and realize our ambitious targets,” said Aviko Group CEO Ton Christiaanse. “After 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.”
CEO Ton Christiaanse
The new factory, with capacity for 175,000 tons of frozen fries and 11.000 tons of flakes annually, will include a washing and sorting area, wastewater treatment facility, and a 40-meter high coldstore.
In Proven, a nearby sub-municipality of Poperinge, Aviko already has a production plant for frozen fries and potato specialties, with around 275 employees on the job. Going forward this site will focus entirely on making potato specialties. Its current frozen fries production function will be transferred to Poperinge. When fully operational, the new facility will employ approximately 155 people, including 45 staff coming over from Proven. Startup is expected to commence in September of 2021.
Aviko’s ambition is to realize growth in a sustainable and responsible manner with respect for people, the community and the environment. As such, throughout various stages of design, construction and operation maximum levels of sustainability will be emphasized. This includes high combined energy efficiency, minimal loss of edible potato, full reprocessing of residual material, reuse of water, rooftop solar panels and a coldstore built strictly according to BREEAM requirements (a prestigious assessment tool for the sustainability performance of buildings).
“It is exciting that with this investment Royal Cosun and its shareholders recognize and support Aviko’s potential to enhance our strong #1 and #2 positions in the European foodservice and branded retail markets, while at the same time pursuing attractive, profitable growth opportunities overseas,” stated Christiaanse.
Founded in 1962, Aviko ranks as the fourth largest potato products manufacturer in the world. It is active in more than 110 countries and operates factories in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Poland and China.