Recordaantal Faillissementen in Belgische Voedingsindustrie 2023
Ondernemers sociëteit voedingsindustrie
B2B Communications
Wallbrink Crossmedia
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Record number of bankruptcies in belgian food industry

  • 22 January 2024

The Belgian food industry witnessed an unprecedented number of bankruptcies in 2023, with 141 companies closing their doors. This alarming increase of 34% compared to the previous year marks the sector's worst performance in the past decade.

The food industry significantly suffered from the surge in production costs that began in mid-2020. Profitability, measured by the operating margin, plummeted to a historically low level, nearly as low as in 2011. Despite two years of government measures, such as a moratorium on bankruptcies and deferral of tax and social security payments, it was inevitable that the number of bankruptcies would rise.

Despite government measures, strong increase in bankruptcies

In 2023, this concern became a reality, with a notably strong increase in the number of bankruptcies. Remarkably, one in three bankruptcies in the manufacturing sector was related to the food industry, despite the sector representing only about 20% of the total weight (including self-employed individuals). Private limited liability companies (BVBA's) were the hardest hit, accounting for 70% of bankruptcies, followed by self-employed individuals at 20%.

Limited job loss and specific impact on part-time jobs

While the number of bankruptcies was significant, job losses remained relatively limited. In 2023, a total of 666 jobs were lost, in line with the average for the period 2005-2019. However, part-time jobs were relatively harder hit, constituting 32% of the total job loss, compared to the average of 22% between 2005 and 2019. Full-time jobs represented less than half of the loss (46%), while jobs of employed employers maintained a stable share of about 21%.

Source: Fevia