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15 May 2023

Food in Flanders, Passionately Reliable.

Food in Flanders, Passionately Reliable.

Flanders has a natural appetite for excellence. Being at the forefront of safety, traceability and innovation, we are very serious about food. In Flanders, food nourishes innovation, quality and collaboration.

Flanders’ food industry: where quality and innovation blend effortlessly

As a food player, you have undoubtedly already tasted the beer and chocolate that enabled Flanders’ food industry to conquer the world. In addition to these traditional products, Belgium’s northern region introduces groundbreaking novelties on a regular basis. All in all, Flanders shines when tradition and innovation blend – and we’ve got the credentials to back that claim. Get a taste of why the region is the perfect foundation for your food business.

Food ‘Valhalla’ for international industry leaders

Flanders is home to the world’s largest chocolate factory and warehouse – operated by Swiss chocolate king Barry Callebaut in the towns of Wieze and Lokeren, respectively. But the list of references doesn’t end there.

From BoortmaltCargill and Danone to PuratosPauligThe Coca-Cola Company, The Kellogg Company and Yakult … Some of the world’s biggest names in agri-food operate production sites, distribution centers, headquarters, R&D centers and more in Flanders.

Perfectly meshed and talented food ecosystem

Flanders’ food industry is brimming with SME and export activities. Often, these companies work closely with Flanders’ government, universities and scientific institutes. Their geographical proximity and short lines of communication give rise to a flourishing, all-encompassing ‘food ecosystem’ that includes producers, suppliers, pilot plants (f.e. the Food Pilot in Melle), bio-incubators (f.e. Leuven Bio-Incubator and Food Port), federations, cluster organizations (f.e. Flanders’ FOOD & The ProteInn Club), knowledge centers (including ILVO, Inagro and LFoRCe) & university research groups  at UGent, KU Leuven, UAntwerpen, VIVES …

What ties them together is one common goal: to achieve the very best and most sustainable in terms of food production, safety, nutrition and quality.

Ideal food test market and logistics hub

Flanders is not just a ‘food Valhalla’ in its own right. The region also serves as a practical and effective test market within Europe – for Unilever and The Coca-Cola Company, among various other foreign investors. In addition, numerous international food companies, such as Citrosuco, see Flanders as a crucial gateway to Europe with extended and innovative logistics infrastructure.

A blueprint for the European palate

With more than 6 million people living on 13,522 km2 of land area, Flanders is a small yet populous region. The smaller the market, the faster you can bring a new food product to the consumer and find out whether they like it. In addition, Belgium – of which Flanders is the northern region – is a kind of miniature Europe and its economy is very similar to that of Europe, making it a representative test case. Furthermore, Flanders is situated at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin and Anglo-Saxon cultures, which means that the region can serve as a blueprint for the European palate. Both salty and sweet food products can be tested cost-effectively, for example. Meanwhile, all of this comes together to form a comprehensive network of logistics and distribution infrastructure – making it easier for your company to distribute your food and test products.

In short, if consumers are willing to buy your new products in Flanders, chances are high that the average European consumer will do so too.


We are delighted to have Flanders Investment & Trade hosting an International Pavilion at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2023 in September. Make sure you visit the pavilion to taste everything this wonderful region has to offer for yourself!

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