Poland: Soft fruit production remains unprofitable

According to Deputy Minister Jacek Bogucki, who made a statement on Thursday at a meeting of the Agriculture Committee, the prices and profitability of all soft fruits increased in 2017. However, in the opinion of the growers, prices are still too low to cover the production costs.

"This year's spring frosts have caused huge losses in terms of volume. The most affected have been cherries, with a 60% drop, and the least strawberries, down by 11%. Overall, the fruit harvest has been lower than in 2016, so prices improved and the profitability of the production was higher," said Bogucki. He added that the lower production also entailed a lower supply of frozen foods, juices and other processed products, as well as lower export opportunities.

Citing data from the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Food Economy (IERiGŻ), the Deputy Minister found that the prices of cherries and strawberries rose the most, while raspberries recorded a smaller growth. This year, cherries for freezing have cost an average of 4 złoty* per kilo (compared to 1.45 złoty/kilo last year). For strawberries, the price has reached 5.50 złoty/kilo (compared to 4 złoty last year) For raspberries, the average price has stood at 5.50 złoty/kilo, compared to 5.20 złoty/kilo last year.

Bogucki also highlighted that in previous years, fruit producers have been granted a huge amount of aid (8 billion złoty) to help them create producer groups that would empower them to negotiate with processors.

*1 złoty = 0.24 Euro/0.28 US$

Source: sadyogrody.pl

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