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Rain delays apple harvest in Poland

Heavy rains and cold weather last week meant the most apple producers around Poland were unable to harvest. During a recent tour of Grojecki Owoc, production was yet to begin due to the poor harvest conditions.

Click here to view pictures taken at a recent visit of Grojecki Owoc.

"It's just too wet and muddy to have our workers harvest, so they are staying at their hotels until we are ready to start harvesting. Most of the workers we hire are from Poland and Ukraine and we have found that it is increasingly difficult to find the balance between good wages and making a profit in this industry. We pay good wages to make sure that we have enough workers but because the profit margin is so low for apples, we are lucky if we are able to make a 5% profit. The current season is not going to help either, this is the second year that the season hasn't been as good as we had hoped, yet the business goes on, although there are a lot of costs involved - such annual maintenance and other unexpected costs such as machinery, that can break down from time to time," said Artur Chojnacki, Sales Manager for Grojecki Owoc.

The apple grower's group consists of 16 growers and spans a growing around of 200 ha in the Grojec region, with the main sorting and storage area located in Godzisz, which processes an average of 8000 tons per season. The area has a long history of apple growing and Artur said that this is because the region had been developed during the communist era and taken over by growers after communism fell in Poland.

The main varieties grown are Champion, Golden Delicious, Jonagold and Red Chief.

Production in the Godzisz region is around 100 hectares, and the region was also affected by the frost which hit in the spring.

"You can see around the orchard where the frost hit, causing small apples, or causing scarred skin. We have good irrigation systems to protect the apples, along with spraying, but there were still some damages. The frost hit the trees randomly, with one doing well and the one next to it with damaged fruits or completely killed by the frost. Trees are just like humans, some survive and have a long life, but some are just not strong enough," shared Artur.

Around 70% of the group's production is sent to surrounding countries, with the remaining 30% going to Africa and the Middle East. When asked about Poland sending apples to China, Artur said that it wasn't something the Grojecki Owoc was interested in, "The Chinese market isn't very interesting to us. There is so much bureaucracy, with a huge pile of papers and because the destination is so far away, it leaves more opportunity to have something happen to the apples along the way, it's just not worth the hassle."

Click here to view pictures taken at a recent visit of Grojecki Owoc.

For more information:
Artur Chojnacki
Grojecki Owoc
Tel: +48 506149911

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