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Operation in Poland doubled each year since 2014UK vegetable producer G's expanded further into Eastern Europe at the start of 2014 with a facility in Warsaw, Poland. The company already has growing operations Spain, the Czech Republic, USA, Senegal as well as the UK.
The Polish operation started up in 2014 and has seen rapid growth from the start, with a relative doubling in size every year. It started with 120ha of salad vegetables and now boasts approx. 950 ha, split between salad and vegetable production.
"Currently everything is open field grown and the major challenge here is the climate," Henry Shropshire, European Business Development Manager at the company, explains. "We can have heat waves for 2 weeks with temperatures up to 35°C through the day and 22°C at night. This heat also brings huge thunderstorms in summer with 80mm of rain falling in 5 minutes, with approx. 200mm falling in 14 days. Spring winds cause extensive dust storms and at the start and end of the season we have very cold weather as the winter comes and goes. This change is very rapid and we have had -6 for 4 nights running with over 100ha of lettuce in the ground."
The recent cold weather slightly delayed mini romaine, babyleaf and celery, but more noticeably the iceberg will be delayed about 3 weeks.
Despite this Henry sees strong opportunities for growth as they continue to establish the business. By using the broader infrastructure of the G’s European operations and customer mix, the company has the propensity to export to many markets including UK, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Holland, Italy, Spain, Belarus and the Baltic States.
Poland is another base and possible location to enable G’s to fulfil customer demand across Europe when Brexit is done. "We are already successfully exporting small amounts of labour intensive products to our UK customers from Poland," according to Henry. "This should be relatively straight forward to increase if required. Therefore, with the uncertainty of Brexit, we are certain that whichever way the decisions go, we will have options to keep continuity of supply to our customers."
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