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A mound of french fries in Antwerp in happier times. Photo: Barrie Fanton/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of potatoes are at risk unless Belgians eat more french fries during the coronavirus crisis, Romain Cools, the secretary-general of the country's potato industry group, told CNBC.

The big picture: Frozen potatoes account for 75% of Belgium's potato processing capacity, and demand has been crushed with restaurants shuttered and freezers filled up.

By the numbers: Belgium's industry faces a possible loss of $135.5 million, if hundreds of tons of surplus potatoes aren't eaten by this year, AP reports.

"We're working with supermarkets to see whether we can launch a campaign asking Belgians to do something for the sector by eating fries — especially frozen fries — twice a week."
— Cools told CNBC

The big picture: Belgium is set to lift its stay-at-home order for most of its population as soon as Saturday. But, no date has yet been established for restaurants and frites stands to reopen.

  • In the meantime, businesses are organizing shipments to food banks and exports to Central Europe and Africa.

Go deeper: Coronavirus breaks the food supply chain

Go deeper

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Yes, but: This is 2020, when nothing matters.

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Higher education expands its climate push

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New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

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The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.