"Energy can now easily drive companies over the edge"

Flemish growers struggle with energy contracts

There is a lot of uncertainty about a tightened phase-out plan in Belgium. Interest group Boerenbond is asking for clarity on the priority that will be given to growers, but this is not yet available. The expectation is that food production will be given priority.

Meanwhile, the concerns of growers go beyond the plan alone, discovered De Tijd. The newspaper spoke (anonymously) to several growers, including pepper grower Marc Lambrecht of Gemapa and Tom Vlaemynck of Tomato Masters.

Among other things, they talked about how they generate crucial electricity using gas to balance the electricity grid. There is one problem, the newspaper noted. To be able to produce profitably, it is crucial to buy gas as cheaply as possible and to sell electricity as expensively as possible. However, the ratio is lost because natural gas has recently become much more expensive.

Some growers set prices for gas and electricity partly in advance. Others buy and sell according to the more volatile spot markets. "If you find out now that you haven't taken a good position, it becomes tricky," says Herman Marien of the Kennis Centrum Energie at Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in the newspaper.

Read the whole story in the newspaper here.

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