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Promising market for Polish tomatoes & bell peppersBack in 2014, Dutch company Staay Food Group opened a Polish office in Poland, focused primarily on sales to local retailers there. The core businesses of the branch are overseas fruits and Dutch glasshouse vegetables (particularly tomatoes and capsicums). The idea behind the venture is that they are able utilise the import capacities of the Dutch based company, but also, when necessary, Polish products are also sent over to the Netherlands, along with other European markets.
Jakub Maciołek, responsible for the Polish branch, said that retailers are really helping shape the demands of the Polish consumer. Just as with other countries, there has been a huge push in recent years for eating healthy foods and retailers have been helping this along by offering promotions to encourage the purchase of fruit and veg.
Modern growers switch to modern tomatoes
Polish domestic tomato production is set to start at the beginning of April, which will continue through to the middle of November.
"Modern growers have been looking into which options will bring them the most profits, which is why many have been switching over to pink tomatoes, which have a sweeter taste than the round tomatoes which had previously dominated the market. Production has seen a dramatic increase, I believe it's as high as 30% this year, especially because, at this moment with the current pricing, growers are able to receive around €1-1.50 more per box on top of the €7-8 per (6 kg box) for traditional tomatoes. We have found that along with the domestic market, the pink tomatoes are popular in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other countries in that region. We had tested these tomatoes in Holland and Spain last year, but they weren't really that interested." shared Jakub.
Polish pepper season shows promise
The Polish bell pepper season is set to start at the end of June, first week of July through to the end of September/early October. Last year there was a huge difference between prices in the Netherlands and Poland, they were selling for €4 per 5kg box in Poland and €8-12 per 5 kg box in the Netherlands.
"I'm expecting there to be more Polish production this year because producers were very content with last year's result. Growers see a lot of opportunities and are hopeful that it will be a successful season, as long as the weather behaves that is. The paprika's are grown in plastic tunnels so they can still be very influenced by the weather, rain and cold nights could have a really negative affect. Since the season starts in June, I don't expect cold temperatures to be an issue, but several weeks of rain could really cause some problems." said Jakub.
"The prices are more stable for Polish tomatoes and peppers than in the Netherlands where the amounts are agreed by seasonal or weekly programs and the rest is sold at auction (which can go anywhere from €5 to €10 per box, from one day to the next). As the structure of production in Poland is not so concentrated in groups, we don’t use the auction system for fresh vegetables.”
The main markets for Polish tomatoes are France and Spain and the Baltic states. We have also started trading with customers in Slovenia and Croatia. Of course, we also send a lot of tomatoes to the Netherlands as well, where they are often sent on to the UK.
For more information:
Staay Warszawa Sp. z.o.o.
Tel: +48 (0)607 319 772
Fax: +48 (0)22 855 51 29
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