Posted on

Poland, a large producer, exporter and importer of fruit and vegetables

Poland, a large producer, exporter and importer of fruit and vegetables
Jorunalist & photos by: Natalia Bammatova, correspondent at Eurofresh Distribution

Parity of horticultural import and export value

Poland is a large fruit and vegetables producer. Its export exceeded 3.5 million tons valued 2.34 billion euro in 2019. Notwithstanding large production, the country imports fruit and vegetables at the same large scale: 2.73 million tons (2.6 billion euro) imported last year.

Fruit production in Poland, EU champion for apples and wild blueberries

Fruit export totalled 1.6 million tons valued 1.12 billion euro. Apples account for 79 per cent of total Polish fruit production, and the country ranks as the largest apple producer in EU. It also produces widely sour cherries and blueberries, but in 2020, the export of the latter may be challenged due to smaller production and higher prices. The country exported more than one million tons of apples and pears in 2019 comparing to 871,000 tons in 2015. Banana is the 2nd largest fruit exported in terms of volume (66,000 tons) which is paradoxical, and berries and stone fruit are the 3rd and the 4th (58,000 and 41,500 tons respectively). Tropical fruit (pineapple, avocado, mango, etc.) goes just behind them, which shows Poland as a re-exporter. Export of frozen fruit equalled 358,000 tons. Main destinations of Polish fruit are Germany (230 million euro of export), Belarus (110 million), the Netherland (72 million), UK (69 million) and Ukraine (52 million euro).

The notorious mushroom exporter

Among vegetables, carrots and cabbage are most widely cultivated in Poland; the country is also notable for wild Chanterelle mushrooms. In 2015, Poland exported 1.71 million tons of fresh and frozen vegetables valued 890 million euro, and increased its export up to 1.9 million tons valued 1.22 billion euro in 2019. Mushrooms is the top category of export (more than 238,000 tons in 2019); most are exported to Western Europe, including speciality items like oyster mushrooms and shiitake. Onion (143,000 tons), cabbage (75,000 t) and tomato (72,550 tons) go behind. The export of frozen vegetables totalled 446,000 tons at the value 315 million euro in 2019.

The prevalent markets for Polish vegetables are Germany (267 million euro), UK (182 million) and France (105 million). The same countries demonstrate the largest growth of import with +50% for Germany and 30% for France and UK since 2015. At the same time, other trade partners show positive results too, even remote ones such as the USA or Canada.

Steady progress of import figures

Despite well developed vegetable production, their import has almost doubled recently and exceeded 1.26 million tons valued 1 billion euro in 2019 (721 million tons valued 606 million euro in 2015). Poland sources vegetables basically from Spain (298 million euro), the Netherland (187 million), Germany (160 million) and Italy (75 million euro). Top imported categories are potato (274,000 tons), onion and garlic (237,000 t), tomatoes (159,000 t) and capsicum (78,000 tons).

In 2019, Polish import of fruit surpassed 1.47 million tons (1.6 billion euro). Spain (230 million euro), Germany (190 million), Italy (107 million) and Ecuador (99,500 million euro) remain the biggest suppliers. Bananas (458,000 tons), stone fruit (150,000) and grapes (353,000) are the leaders of fruit import. It is remarkable that citrus fruit is the unique category with a striking negative result (212,000 tons against average 400,000 tons within last 5 years). The import of fresh berries, kiwi and tropical fruit is large too (87,000 and 69,000 tons respectively).

Channels of sales: open markets, small stores and supermarkets

Local markets are favourite places for the purchasing fruit and vegetables, especially domestic products, but retail sector gradually gain larger share. The evaluation became most obvious with the beginning of the pandemic. The largest grocery retail brands are Biedronka (owned by Jeronimo Martins, Portugal), Zabka (Poland), Lidl (Germany), Auchan (France), Tesco (UK) and Stokrotka (Poland). Along with national and international retailers, some small stores are successfully developing their business. However, the impact of the measures connecting with Covid pandemic may change the portrait of the retail business.


About the Republic of Poland

  • Population 38.5 million
  • Surface: 312,600 km2
  • GDP: 35,651 USD
Posted on

17% of France’s specialist organic stores owned by major retailers

17% of France’s specialist organic stores owned by major retailers © Claire Tillier

© Claire Tillier


France’s leading 100% organic brands Biocoop, Naturalia and La Vie Claire performed very well in 2019, thanks to continued store openings and increasingly aggressive communication. However, smaller brands are suffering from the increasingly fierce competition.

According to a study published by Les Échos Études on the distribution of organic food products in France, a steady growth rate is predicted over the next five years. Enthusiasm for organic products remains strong, as has been the case for the past decade, during which the market for organic products registered double-digit annual growth. Organics are now firmly part of the habits of French consumers, with 47% of them being regular consumers of organic products in 2019, compared to 37% in 2015.

The strengthening of eco-responsible practices during the Covid-19 crisis has benefited the organic sector, with strong growth recorded across all distribution channels. Organic foods attracted 8% more new buyers during the lockdown period (source: Spirit Insight study for Agence Bio). However the economic downturn could dampen this enthusiasm, with the risk of price battles. The economic consequences of the health crisis are leading to more polarised consumption patterns, with consumers torn between the need to save money and a desire for more responsible and healthy consumption.

The French organic market is dominated by large-scale retailers and specialist organic stores. But in recent years, supermarkets have taken market share from the 100% organic brands. The organic range on offer in supermarkets has grown considerably. In 2019, large-scale retail accounted for nearly 55% of revenues generated from sales of organic food products. Meanwhile, the major retailers have also strengthened their position in the specialist organic channels through their own brands, launching new concepts such as Casino Bio at the end of 2019 or Le Marché Bio Leclerc in 2018, or by buying out existing players, as in the case where Carrefour took over in 2018 and Bio c’ Bon in 2020. As of 2019, 17% of France’s specialist organic stores were owned by major retailers.

Posted on

UK retailers see surge in demand for organics

tom uk

UK retailers reported a surge in sales of organic food and drink during lockdown. Organic bananas, chicken, eggs and wine are among the main drivers of growth, according to Nielsen data. Organic food and drink sales were up 6.1%, compared to the 3.2% growth recorded in the year ending May 2020. Data from the Soil Association, a trade body which licenses organic products and promotes organic farming, an 18.7% increase in organic sales was registered in the 12 weeks to the end of May – which includes 10 weeks of lockdown – compared with a 14.2% increase in non-organic equivalents.

The sector is on track to hit the £2.6bn mark by the end of the year, exceeding the £2.5bn originally projected, the association said.

“Organic farming is a whole system approach that nurtures the soil, biodiversity and our planet,” said Louisa Pharoah of the Soil Association. “The Covid-19 pandemic has meant more people appreciate where food comes from, and with the increased interest in growing veg in our gardens and home baking, there’s never been a better time to talk to people about the benefits of organic farming.”

The UK’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, reported a steady increase in the popularity of organic produce, with its Fairtrade banana five-pack the most popular organic product. An average of about 261,000 bananas are sold per day in this format.

At Waitrose, sales of organic food and drink have increased by 13% compared with last year. Categories which have shown some of the biggest sales increases include chicken (up 42%), vegetables (up 23%) and eggs (up 13%).


Source: The Guardian


Posted on

Freshfel calls on EC for more financial support for marketing

Freshfel calls on EC for more financial support for marketing © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution


Freshfel Europe has pressed the European Commission to maintain a €200m promotional budget in its 2021 Annual Work Programme (AWP) and double the amount set aside for the fruit and vegetable sector to €16 million to promote European consumption.

Freshfel stressed the need to support the fruit and vegetable sector in times when it faced multiple challenges, such as Covid-19, Brexit, and intense competition on international markets. Freshfel Europe expressed strong concern about the European Commission’s initial budget allocation breakdown, noting that it included a highly disproportionate allocation of budget for organic and other EU quality schemes compared to their market shares. With EU consumption flat at around 345g per capita per day (below the WHO recommendation of at least 400g per day), Freshfel warned that the allocation breakdown would dangerously limit the capacity of general promotion activities to stimulate the consumption of fruit and vegetables. 

Freshfel Europe general delegate Philippe Binard, said, “Freshfel Europe strongly urges the European Commission to at least double the budget under Topic D for multi programmes on the internal market, focusing on increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the EU in the context of balanced and proper dietary practices. This higher budget would allow more EU promotion activities in the coming years to build on the momentum that the upcoming 2021 UN International Year of Fruit and Vegetables will bring for the sector, and reinforce promotion activities promoting healthy sustainable diets.”

Posted on

Australia targets European organic markets

Australia targets European organic markets ©


The Australian government has taken a further step to promote the country’s organic agriculture by providing €60,000 in funding for industry body Australian Organics to support exporters targeting German, Swedish and UK markets. Australian Organics will use the grant to support trade of organic products through a national education programme, which will include a series of webinars on a new online platform.

David Littleproud, Australia’s minister for agriculture, said the sessions will provide free resources and information to certified organic operators interested in targeting Europe. “On 20 October, Australian Organic will launch its export country-specific webinar series to be conducted virtually via Zoom. These initial webinars held over three days will focus on Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom, all potentially lucrative markets for our farmers of certified organic produce. Each webinar will cover a range of export-related content including market selection strategies, market access, organic certification and market specific consumer trends.”

Posted on

Vegetarian Food Asia 2020, new dates

Vegetarian Food Asia 2020, new dates


Vegetarian Food Asia 2020, which was originally scheduled from July 31st to August 2nd, has a new date: 23-25 October 2020. Since its inauguration in 2015, Vegetarian Food Asia has become Hong Kong’s largest exhibition for vegetarian products and services. LOHAS Expo, its concurrent event, is the leading trading platform for natural, organic, green living, and sustainable living products in Hong Kong and overseas.

Apart from showcasing 4,000 vegetarian, natural, organic, and green living products, the expo will also feature exciting events.

The expo’s “Public Zone” was successfully debuted in the last edition with a record-breaking 30,000 visits. In the 2020 shows, the organizer will expand the Public Hall’s scale and continue to open to public for three days. Public visitors will be able to find and shop a wide variety of vegetarian and green living products around the world.


More info at:

Posted on

Director of Proexport advocates diversification of production and markets to cope with Covid-19

Director of Proexport advocates diversification of production and markets to cope with Covid-19 - Fernando P. Gómez Molina, director of Proexport © Proexport
Fernando P. Gómez Molina, director of Proexport © Proexport


On Tuesday 13th October, director of Proexport, Fernando P. Gómez Molina, spoke at the PMA Fresh Summit (Produce Marketing Association), where, together with representatives from Chile and Hong-Kong, he analysed the impact of the pandemic on the European fruit and vegetable market. In his speech, Gómez addressed the situation facing the European fruit and vegetable sector and the characteristics that define the “new” consumer in light of the situation posed by Covid-19 and how fruit and vegetable companies must deal with this situation, innovating in their processes and adapting to new consumer demands.

“Fruit and vegetable suppliers must be prepared to keep costs low and productivity high, while we must defend the value of our product in a constantly innovating market,” Gómez said. In addition, a good strategy for the future would be “to diversify production at source and expand destination markets to reduce the risks of an unstable market.”

The PMA Fresh Summit session, Around the World in Fresh Products: An Update on International Challenges and Opportunities, addressed the impact on the global product market and ways to generate new opportunities or overcome barriers to business. Along with Gómez, Nicolás Moller Opazo, Vice President of Hortifrut (Chile) and Patrick Vizzone, Director of Food, Beverages and Agribusiness of ANZ Banking Group (Hong Kong) participated.

Posted on

France, the first export market for Ukraine

France, the first export market for Ukraine

For the first time, France became the largest export market for Ukrainian fruit, berries and nuts, reported the analytics of EastFruit agency. The volume of shipments has grown by 9% comparing to 2019, and amounted to $12.2 million. The basic commodities are walnut (+19% comparing to 2019), frozen wild blueberry and frozen raspberry.

The second largest importer is now Poland; it has increased by 12% its import from Ukraine, mostly with frozen raspberry and walnut. Another top-three leader is Germany; it imported walnut, frozen wild berries, dry fruit, frozen raspberry and strawberry valued $6.7 million.

Turkey used to be the second large trade partner of Ukraine, mainly for the supplies of walnut, but it decreased its import in 2020.

More info

Posted on

The impact of the pandemic crises, positive results too

The impact of the pandemic crises, positive results too


Food service sector became one of the most impacted by Covid-19 pandemic and economic depression in Russia; since March 2020, restaurants and cafes has been observing the decline of visitors’ number.

The statistics confirm the dramatic fall, especially in specific regions. Thus, the turnover of the sector decreased by 41% in Kaliningrad region, 30% in Saint Petersburg and 26% in Moscow by the end of June.

At the same time, some leaders of food retail stated that crisis was positive for them, as consumers shifted from public food services to supermarkets, and the growth of like-for-like sales reached 25 to 30% in April-June.

Posted on

Asia Fruit Logistica switches ON

Asia Fruit Logistica switches ON


Asia’s premier fresh fruit and vegetable trade show Asia Fruit Logistica will take place online in November 2020 and feature a new digital platform. Will Wollbold, commercial director of Asia Fruit Logistica, said: “Asia Fruit Logistica ON has arisen out of the of Covid-19 challenge. Especially after the past months, you will know that there’s a solution for every problem in business, and Asia Fruit Logistica ON is our solution for you to achieve your business goals in Asia. It has become clear now that we can’t host our physical event in Singapore in November, so we’re working hard with a specialist software company based in Asia to develop Asia Fruit Logistica ON as a digital alternative.”

Andrew Phua, executive director of exhibitions and conferences at Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Asia Fruit Logistica continues to be a valued partner for Singapore, and we are proud they have teamed up with a leading Singapore tech company to build their digital event. This demonstrates the full range of innovative solutions that Singapore has to offer to the MICE industry, as we reimagine what safe and high-quality business events could look like.”

Asia is the world’s fastest growing market for fresh fruits and vegetables and crucial to the growth of the fresh produce business around the world. Asia Fruit Logistica has helped promote this growth in Asia as the primary meeting point for global suppliers and buyers from across Asia for more than ten years.