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First Polish apples land in Taiwan

First Polish apples land in Taiwan © Eurofresh Distribution

© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Taiwanese consumers are to get their first taste of Polish apples, following the arrival of a trial shipment last week. Head of sales of Polish fruit exporter Galster, Mateusz Wajnert, said: “On Wednesday 9th December, the first trial box with apples from our orchards, containing Gala Royal apples arrived. After the arrival, the produce was checked for flavour and the feedback has been positive. This means the next thing on our list is to send an actual container shipment to Taiwan and find some good cooperation with Taiwanese fruit importers. It’s been a lot of hard work, wading through a series of phytosanitary documents, but we hope this will all be worth it in the end. We would like to slowly start, trying a couple of containers to get to know the expectations of our Taiwanese customer a little better.”

If all goes well, more containers will be sent next season.

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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
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Apples from Europe Campaign and the Covid-19 Situation

Apples from Europe Campaign and the Covid-19 Situation

According to the latest press release from the Association of Polish Distributors Fruit and Vegetables “Fruit Union”, the situation related to the Covid-19 pandemic caused a sharp increase in the consumption of pre-packaged fruit and vegetables and a general increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables.

During the meeting of the group of experts on the market of fruit and vegetables at the European Commission, it was noticed that the tendency to build stocks and buy prepackaged food with longer expiry dates during the first phase of the “lockdown” had an impact on the increased interest in fruit and vegetables. The opposite trend has been observed over time – increasing the consumption of organic food and buying local and organic food. Both trends had a positive impact on the European fruit and vegetable industry.

Experts said that “only in Germany, the turnover in the fresh food sector increased to EUR 6.8 million in March, an increase of 15% (10% is explained by higher volumes and 5% higher prices). There has also been an increase in the number of consumers purchasing local and organic products.”

There was an increase in retail sales by nearly 25%, but only partially compensated producers for the decline in sales in the HORECA channel, which was completely closed during the first months of the pandemic. At the same time, producers estimate that they incurred approximately EUR 1 billion in additional costs during the 2 months of the pandemic related to adapting production and logistics to Covid-19.

 

Source: Association of Polish Distributors/ Fruit and Vegetables “Unia Owocowa”
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NOVO-PACK™, a Polish solution to reduced-weight packaging

NOVO-PACK™, a Polish solution to reduced-weight packaging

Famag was established in 1992 as a family company specialising in trading in packaging. Market transformations, acquired knowledge, and extensive experience prompted Famag to produce its own packaging. Recently, Famag has created a reduced-weight NOVO-PACK™. It is a special mesh packaging for fruit and vegetables to address the changing preferences in the market. It was made possible by investing in research and technology. “Unit packaging will be getting smaller due to the demographics, the economy, and the variety of choice,” said Grzegorz Karaś, export manager at Famag. 

The company is now moving forward in producing active packaging that focuses on creating innovative and environmentally friendly alternatives. “This packaging has the ability to monitor specific parameters to slow down product spoilage,” said Karaś. The active packaging can extend the freshness of goods. This proves to be beneficial as extending the product life on the shelf is a priority for supermarkets to ensure the freshest products for their customers. “This allows customers to trust the brands we work with. We can do something not only for consumers but also to reduce the amount of food thrown away,” said Karaś.

The packaging industry is a very dynamic sector. Despite this, Famag has maintained a strong and stable position in the Polish market. “We listen to the needs of the market and our customers, and adapt the offer to the changing requirements,” added Karaś. 

Famag specialises in the production of packaging for fruits and vegetables. The company exports to Russia, the European Union, South America, South Africa and the Middle East. It uses high-quality PE film welding machines and various types of nets. 

For inquiries: Grzegorz Karaś, FAMAG: export@famag.pl

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Fall in Polish strawberry prices amidst uncertainty

Fall in Polish strawberry prices amidst uncertainty

 

The first Polish strawberries appeared at wholesale markets at a price of about PLN 20/kg, according to data published by www.farmer.pl. For now, they are cheaper than a year ago at the same time, but they will probably soon increase in price. The first domestic strawberries from greenhouses were available on April 23 for PLN 18-22/kg in Broniszach, near Warsaw. Last year, the price of a kilo of strawberries was on average PLN 23, and the highest price was PLN 25/kg. This is over twice the cost of strawberries imported from Spain and Greece, which are offered at PLN 9-11/kg.

The harvest of strawberries in tunnels will start at the end of April, while in the fields, the season runs between May and June. Uncertainty remains about whether there will be sufficient labourers for the harvest. If pickers from Ukraine do not come because of the coronavirus, it is hoped that Poles will step in to fill the gap. This will mean higher costs and, inevitably, higher prices, too.

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Carrefour opens 10 new stores in Poland

Carrefour opens 10 new stores in Poland

 

Carrefour Polska has opened ten new outlets in the first two months of 2020, including four convenience stores in Warsaw. The retail giant plans further openings throughout the year. The move is part of Carrefour’s expansion in the country Poland, with the opening of its first organic stores at the end of 2019. 

Michał Florkiewicz, Carrefour Convenience Store Director for Poland, said: “Under the name of Carrefour, there are already more than 650 shops in Poland operated by our franchisees in three different formats. In 2019, we opened over 100 new shops all over the country.” 

In 2018, Carrefour offered a new retail format for the Polish market: a Carrefour Express tailored for petrol stations, which has become very popular. Carrefour Polska operates convenience stores in three formats – Carrefour Express Convenience, Carrefour Express Minimarket, and Globi.

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POLOmarket, unmatched in fast deliveries 

POLOmarket, unmatched in fast deliveries 

Fresh organic produce is on the rise for the number-one Polish retailer

The Polish retail market is in constant transformation to adjust to the shifting requirements of customers. Poland’s shoppers demand fresh and good quality produce on store shelves 24 hours a day, making well-organised logistics and fast transport crucial. POLOmarket is the largest retail network solely reliant on Polish financing. Established in the Kujawy region, POLOmarket has grown to comprise approximately 400 retail locations in small and medium-size towns as well as in larger conurbations throughout the country. It serves around 9 million shoppers every month. “We are the fastest in delivering fresh produce in Poland. Our chain sells goods worth €823 million per year,” said Dawid Mizera, category manager. “However, the crucial asset of our chain is our well-organised logistics, particularly for transporting fresh fruits and vegetables.” 

Fresh organic produce is a growing trend 

“For now, sales of organic products are rising slowly, but the trend is stable and its share of fresh produce has increased in the last two years,” said Mizera. The buzzword most frequently used in POLOmarket’s marketing is ‘Polish shop’ to highlight how the stores’ fresh produce comes from local Polish farmers. POLOmarket has also invested in environmental protection by withdrawing foil bags and replacing them with paper bags. As Mizera underlines, Polish customers are now more open to purchasing fresh organic bananas, tomatoes, cabbages or cucumbers in every POLOmarket store. “Now we intend to add our own brand of organic fruits, vegetables, juices and nectars ‘Zaczarowany Ogród’ (Enchanted Garden), with which we will offer more organic fresh produce in addition to our conventional products,” said Mizera.  

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Polish retailer Piotr i Paweł enters into cooperation with Spar Group 

 

Successful cooperation between retailers guarantees good profits, further development and increased brand awareness.

 

Retailer Piotr i Paweł is to join forces with the Spar Group Ltd. As in previous seasons, the retailers are developing their F&V segment so that every customer visiting their stores can find the tastes they are seeking. “In autumn 2019, in line with our new slogan ‘Inspirations’, we promoted a selection of produce, such as red grapefruit from Turkey, pineapple from Costa Rica, and Polish potatoes in various colours. We also promoted our products with the logo ‘Always Quality’ and offered many organic products,” said Tomasz Syller, managing director of Spar. Piotr i Paweł is also well-known for the high-class products that clients can find at its stores across the whole country. 

Joining forces
to reach a bigger target 

Spar has 70 shops in 65 towns in Poland but is planning to increase the number of outlets to 150 by the end of 2020. The average sales area is 1,100 m², with an assortment of 37,000 articles. The number of own-label products has increased to 1,200 items in the various categories. Once Piotr i Pawel joins forces with Spar Group Ltd., both retailers will be better placed to compete against other retailers by offering products that are often unavailable in the Polish market and at lower prices. “Fruits and vegetables account for about 8% of all our products. In 2019 up to November, our fruit and vegetables sales were worth over 120 million zlotys,” said Tomasz Syller, who states that in Poland, there is a trend to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, especially among young and middle-aged professionals. “Moreover, we are trying to offer our customers lesser known vegetables, like topinambur or pitahaya. We’ll sell these rarities in many of our outlets in various regions of our country,” said Syller.

Great potential will be generated by the partnership between Piotr i Paweł and Spar Group Ltd. “Our main target is to supply come over €11 million worth of products each year by making our shops more attractive for our customers. We now plan to build new markets in medium-sized towns. In Warsaw alone, we have five supermarkets and we plan to open new ones,” said Syller.

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Carrefour opens specialist organic store in Poland

Carrefour opens specialist organic store in Poland

 

Poland’s first Carrefour BIO store was opened on November 15, 2019 in the centre of Warsaw. Poland thus becomes the fourth country, after France, Spain and Belgium, to see the concept of Carrefour BIO stores. The first Carrefour BIO offers 153 m² of commercial space and a 27 m² coffee corner with free wifi. A wide and varied offer of approximately 2,500 products awaits customers, 80% of which are organic products, with the remaining ones dedicated to vegans and people with gluten and lactose intolerance. The Carrefour BIO store assortment includes 250 types of fresh products, including vegetables and fruit sold by weight, meat, fish, as well as 2,200 packaged products, including wines and other alcohols. There are also 250 Carrefour BIO private label products available in the store.

The latest concept includes the possibility of buying 50 loose products by weight, among them are cereal, macaroni, legumes, coffee, as well as a wide selection of dried fruit and nuts. Tea and spice lovers can choose from 24 types of these products displayed in glass jars. The Carrefour BIO store also offers freshly baked bread, as well as cold meats, organic cheeses, cakes and delicatessen products sold in traditional counters. In addition to food products, the store also has a zone of make-up products, natural cosmetics and eco-detergents.

The Carrefour BIO also has a “Food to Go” zone that offers healthy snacks, soups as well as bio sandwiches prepared on site. In addition, freshly ground organic coffee and freshly squeezed organic fruit juices await customers. In the store it is possible to use your own packaging, e.g. when buying coffee or weight products. An additional option for customers looking for products directly from farmers are collection in the store of orders processed via the LokalnyRolnik.pl platform. The latest concept uses less waste solutions and ecological equipment, e.g. the floor is made of approximately 50% recycled material, and energy-saving refrigerators are powered by propane-butane.

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Polish organic market expanding at double-digit rate

Polish organic market expanding at double-digit rate

The strong growth in Poland’s organic market is largely down to trade networks, according to Karol Gębka, the trade director of one of the country’s largest organic producers, Świętokrzyska Farm. Speaking to www.portalspozywczy.pl, Gębka said, “When we started our activity over 15 years ago, there was practically no organic market in Poland. The vegetables and fruits we produced were raw materials for export. Virtually 100 percent of what we produced at the beginning was for products processed in the west.” In recent years, the situation has changed dramatically, and the organic food market is the fastest-growing segment of Poland’s entire food sector. “This change is possible thanks to commercial networks. They invest in these products, promote them and build consumer awareness,” said Gębka.