Lutosa Dedicates High Capacity Potato Processing Line
Leuze-en-Hainaut, Belgium-headquartered Lutosa SA inaugurated a new potato fry line at its fully integrated flagship factory in Leuze on October 17. With capacity to process 25 to 30 tons per hour, the line provides employment for 59 people working three shifts.
VIPs on the scene to officially dedicate the facility were: Christian Brotcorne, mayor of Leuze; Max Koeune, president and chief executive officer of McCain Foods; Erwin Pardon, managing director McCain Continental Europe; Alain Duranleau, managing director of Lutosa SA; and Guy Van den Broeke, who founded company in 1978 with this brother Luc.
The installation features many add-ons to premises. Among them are a new unloading, washing and grading station that provides jobs for 54 working in five shifts; a dry store with 4,400 pallet locations for foil and cardboard boxes; another warehouse for the storage of 800 ingredient pallets; and an extra conveyor tunnel connecting the plant to the coldstores.
All this comes on top of investments made in 2017 for two new speciality lines employing 56 people in four shifts. These lines produce a wide variety of mash-based items and shredded specialities.
The company, a member of McCain Continental Europe with roots in the potato trade dating back to 1935, has been active in the frozen sector since 1978. Operating from two production sites in Belgium, exports of finished products account for approximately 90% of total sales volume. Its broad customer base includes industrial further processors, foodservice operators, and retailers in more than 125 countries on five continents.
Many of the innovative frozen items in Lutosa’s wide assortment were showcased during the October 21-25 SIAL exhibition in Paris. Among them were potato crunchies, surf potatoes, spicy crispy fries, coated straight-cut fries, coated skin-on wedges, mini pom’churros, natural mashed potatoes, and veggie burgers.
While the founders retired about five years ago, following the sale of the company to McCain Foods, they remain active in the sector. Luc is engaged in various agricultural societies, and Guy continues to fulfill certain functions within the Belgapom Potato Trading and Manufacturing Federation, such as the role of RUCIP arbitrator (something of a company court organized to settle disputes within the potato industry). He is also chairman of the Interpom/Primeurs trade show coordination committee in Courtrai, and serves as a member of a Business Angels organization, whose members provide financial support and management advice to start-up enterprises.