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Belgian frites will be smaller due to summer drought
Belgian frites are getting shorter - and this summer's dry weather is to blame.
Due to a lack of rainfall in Belgium, production of the bintje variety of potato used to make chips is 25-35% lower than normal. In many areas the harvest has been delayed because the potatoes are not ready.
"We will be eating smaller fries," said Pierre Lebrun, coordinator of the Walloon potato sector - more like 6cm than the usual size of 8-9cm.
"We are looking at an average yield 25% lower than the norm of the last five years," Lebrun added. "The soil is very dry, and that does not make it easy for farmers to work."
And it's not a uniquely Belgian problem: "The same is true in southern Britain, the Netherlands, France and western Germany. We are all in the same boat."
Liliane, who has been selling frites to the people of Charleroi since 1979, told RTL: "We're sometimes seeing very small potatoes - they do not have the same calibre. My supplier is asking double the normal price. If it stays like this, I'll have to put my own prices up."
The chips might be down - but shrimp are in abundance because of the warm weather. The over-supply means prices per kilo have fallen from a typical €10 to just €3.