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Polish apple producer Basstion Fruit:
'Long lasting relationships much better than making a quick buck'
"We are all about building good relationships with our partners at Basstion Fruit. It's not about making a quick sale and possibly never seeing the person again, it is about getting to know them, what their market needs, and offering the best product we can. We have some good partners in the Benelux and England, and went to this year's Fruit Attraction to look for some new partners in Spain," said Michal.
Basstion Fruit is a family company, currently in its third generation, and Michal said that he believes that this gives him the advantage over some of his competitors.
"Our family has been learning, step by step, about the apple business for three generations now, and one thing that we have learned is that it is very important to look at the long term instead of making a quick sale. It's about listening to the customer, being flexible, and offering them exactly what they require for their market. Sometimes, if there is any doubt on whether or not you can fill their requirements, it's also about knowing when to say no," stressed Michal.
As previously reported, this year's apple season will be a tricky one, with average losses in Poland over 30%, along with less good quality apples available for the markets. In Spain and France, there have been a lot of issues with heat damage, which can affect the storability of the apples there and Michal said that this could bring some opportunity for Polish producers in the second half of the season.
As many Polish producers look to new markets, particularly Asia, Michal warned that many need to look before they leap, as bad shipments in the beginning can have a bad effect on all of the apple industry.
"It is important that we really understand the differences in markets like India and China. The expectations about residue in China are so high that it is almost impossible to achieve and they are quick to send full containers back at the slightest trace. Logistics also remains tricky, with a 40-50 day lead time, and the situation out of our control (like people opening the trailers along the way/high temperatures) once it leaves our premises, it is almost impossible to have any control over the quality by the time it reaches the final destination. Plus, a bad first impression can shape how they view all Polish apples," said Michal.
"One thing some people may not realise as well, it is important to view regions in China as a lot of different countries, instead of one large market. For example, consumers in the North there tend to prefer larger apples that are a little sour, whereas people in the South want smaller, sweeter apples."
For more information:
Tel: +48 604419819
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