The annual awards ceremony for Best Belgian Investor in France drew 220 business and economic leaders to Brussels on March 28. Launched in 2012, the event is organized by the Franco-Belgian Chamber of Commerce, and as an official partner for this year’s edition, Nord France Invest invited a regional delegation to join in the festivities. Of the 22 nominees, nine were based in Hauts-de-France, and by the end of the evening, three had won awards for their investments in the region.
Ardo: Best Structural Investment
Ardo took home the Best Structural Investment award for “maintaining or creating significant employment.” The company is a global player in vegetables, fresh herbs and frozen foods, with a total workforce of 3,800 at 21 sites in nine countries. Two of its plants are in Hauts-de-France—Violaines (since 1997) and Lommel. In 2016 Ardo expanded operations at Violaines by investing €18 million in a new fried food line.
Tessenderlo: Best Investment in Innovation
The award for Best Investment in Innovation went to Tessenderlo, a world leader in chemicals, plastics and gelatins, with 100 production plants in 21 countries, including four in Hauts-de-France. In 2016-2017 the company invested €50 million at its PC Loos facility to add a new chlorine production unit based on membrane electrolysis technology—a radical improvement over prior technologies using mercury. Read our article on Tessenderlo’s revolutionary investment at Loos.
Reo Veiling : Audience Favorite
Rounding out the official jury’s decisions, attendees were asked to vote for their favorite investment during the event itself, and they chose Reo Veiling. Founded in 1942 and based in Roeselaere, Reo Veiling is now one of Belgium’s main fruit and vegetable cooperatives, with over 3,000 producers/members. It was voted Audience Favorite for its active role at the group’s greenhouse tomato center in Arques, near Saint-Omer, a project spearheaded by Belgium’s Vandevelde family who are members of the Reo Veiling coop.
- Jury Prize: CMI
- Jury Favorite: Scaldis
About Best Belgian Investor in France awards
Launched in 2012 to celebrate the special ties linking France and Belgium, the Best Belgian Investor in France awards ceremony has become a must-attend event for the business community. Special guests include the French and Belgian ambassadors, as well as key players in cross-border trade. The awards recognize Belgian entrepreneurs whose bold approach to business has fueled economic growth in France by opening new factories, creating jobs and more. The event is sponsored by the Franco-Belgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business France and Trends Tendances, in partnership with KBC Corporate Banking, Group S and Nord France Invest.