Strategic Business Area Europe (SBAE)


Lilian Escalon - Director ‘SBAE has had a great year. Sales increased almost everywhere in 2016/2017, as did financial revenues. A cold spring and a dry growing season limited the growers’ crop yields in the Netherlands and Europe. Total production was 35,000 tonnes lower than in the previous year. SBAE nonetheless managed to achieve all its goals.

HZPC SBAE wants to make a premium offer - always and everywhere
Lilian Escalon, SBAE Director

There was significant demand from the fries and crisps industry and prices were good. HZPC Holland achieved a historical record by selling 92% of the total volume as seed potatoes. In a year of production deficits, an excellent performance has been achieved through sales, operational support and logistics. Despite a lower production, our growers received a significantly higher price.’

Financial growth

SBAE’s gross margin, including licenses, grew from 45 million euros in 2015/2016 to 52 million euros in 2016/2017. 52 million euros in 2016/2017.

Top 5 portfolio of commercial varieties

Innovator, Challenger, Fabula, Sifra en Colomba (l.t.r.)

French fries Sector

Potato variety of the year

Challenger is the largest grower in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Great Britain. A total of 40,000 tonnes of this variety were sold over the past year (plus 15% compared to 2015/2016).

Success Factors

  • High quality as a French fries potato
  • Support for growers to apply best practices
  • Strong promotion of variety in the French fries sector

The Dutch and the Belgians: world champions at French fries production

The demand for fries is booming worldwide. The production and export of fries from the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France are in full swing. This region is a leader in the international fries market. Why are deep-frozen fries from Northern Europe the world’s most affordable?

  • Weather conditions
  • Level of the growers
  • Efficient processing industry
  • Modern chain

Sector Traditional

Developing countries in Eastern Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Asia

Fabula and Sifra   both varieties have grown by 10%

The Traditional sector performed well this year. What is striking, is the dynamics and growth of our sales in Asia, which more than compensate for the slight decline in some sales on the African continent.

Retail Fresh Sector

Colomba has only been on the market for five years and has specific qualities:

For the grower

  • Easy to grow
  • Can be planted and harvested early
  • Grows well in many European countries
  • It did well in Eastern Europe last year too
  • Harvest yields many kilograms

For the packer

  • Nice format
  • Easy to process
  • Doesn’t break easily

For the supermarket

  • Light, attractive colour
  • Good flavour

Global developments

  • Global population growth
  • Increasing demand for food
  • Increasing prosperity
  • Political unrest
  • Low oil price
  • Lack of hard currency