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Over saturated Polish apple market pushes diversificationLocated southeast of the Grojec region, Anna Litwin from Blue Haskap said that the storms that ripped some trees from their roots north of their region, the Masovian district, 'only' experienced slight damage, with some dropped apples.
It has been a very difficult season for Polish apples. Growers were hit by bad weather multiple times this year; first by the spring frosts, which happened twice (in the middle of April and at the beginning of May), followed by storms with hail and then hurricane Ksawery, which hit during the first weekend of this month.
"Our own yields will be down by 40-50% this season and the main Statistical Office has reported that Polish apple production will be down by 30% this year compared to 2016. Some regions have seen as much at 70% losses. Fortunately, the prices are quite good. Prices for processing apples are around 0.26 EUR /kg and 0.52 EUR /kg for dessert fruits is around 0,52 EUR / kg," shared Anna.
"We have a small percentage of quality issues due to the spring frost, but I don't think that it is only due to the weather. In my opinion, the quality of fertilizers and sprays for the conventional cultivation apples in Poland is poor. Some of our partners have been importing them from Italy and they have much better quality than the producers who are buying from the local distributors."
Blue Haskap grows the traditional varieties like Idared, Champion, Gala, Ligol, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Red Jonaprince, Gloster, Mutsu and Cortland. They also grow the heritage varieties such as Boiken, Malinowka, Antonowka, however, they are planning on growing some new varieties like Galaval and Lafayette.
"The apple market has become very tight, which is why we have been looking to offering niche products, which is why we plan on planting the Galaval and Lafayette in the near future, but we are also looking into adding some other Qualival’ varieties," said Anna.
Along with being a producer, Blue Haskap is also and importer and exporter, selling their apples all around Europe. They have also started speaking to Indian and Canadian customers and are hoping to have signed agreements this season.
"The apple market is becoming increasingly more difficult; due to global, low prices which do not cover the production costs and labour shortages. These factors have led to us looking for new activities and we have been diversifying our production. We started growing Haskap berries back in 2012, and we believe that it has a lot of potential, especially because of its wide range of uses; in processing, the food industry, pharmacy and biotechnology, amongst other," continued Anna.
"We are currently looking for an investor to build a processing plant and start to manufacture fruit juices, purees, concentrates, jams, shakes and jelly, along with other products. We are located in the very heart of the Grojec region, producing thousands of tons of all kinds of fruits and vegetables. We are the first company in Poland to produce 100% NFC Haskap juice. We started with smaller quantities for testing and after a lot of interest, we will start regular production this year."
For more information:
Tel: +48 513-648-686
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