CCI Prize Goes to Ardo for Major Investments in France

Ardo was among three companies that were recently presented “Best Belgian Investor in France” awards. The Ardooie-headquartered producer of fresh-frozen vegetables, value-added preparations, fruit, potatoes, herbs, rice and pasta products earned the prize in recognition of upgrades at several factories and stimulating employment in the Hauts-de-France region.

The annual awards ceremony, organized by the Franco-Belgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), drew 220 business and economic leaders to Brussels as well as Ambassadors from France and Belgium to honor the winners. Twenty-two companies were nominated, of which nine operate in Hauts-de-France.

Jan Haspeslagh ardo mdArdo Group Managing Director Jan Haspeslagh (middle) is congratulated by Vincent Mertens de Wilmars, Ambassador of Belgium in France (left), and Pauline de Rosée, Event and Business Developer for CCI France Belgique.Ardo took home the Best Structural Investment award for “maintaining or creating significant employment” while investing €32 million to build a 6,000-square-meter distribution center and logistics platform with 25,000 pallet positions at its Gourin site in Brittany, in addition to a €6 million investment for a water purification station. Furthermore, €18 million was invested in a new frying food line installed in an adapted building at the Ardo Violaines plant in Hauts-de-France, where vegetable fries, wedges, parsnips, carrots, red beets and sweet potatoes are processed.

Other winners saluted at the Brussels ceremony were Reo Veiling and Tessendero.

Founded in 1942 and based in Roeselare, Reo Veiling is one of Belgium’s main fruit and vegetable cooperatives, with over 3,000 producers/members. It was voted Audience Favorite for playing an active role at the group’s greenhouse tomato center in Arques, near Saint-Omer. The project spearheaded by Belgium’s Vandevelde family.

The award for Best Investment in Innovation went to Tessenderlo, a world leader in chemicals, plastics and gelatins, with 100 production plants in 21 countries, including four in Hauts-de-France. In 2016-2017 the company invested €50 million at its PC Loos facility to add a new chlorine production unit based on membrane electrolysis technology.

In addition to the Franco-Belgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the event was sponsored by Business France and Trends Tendances in partnership with KBC Corporate Banking, Group S and Nord France Invest.