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'Polish apple growers have no reason to complain this season'

After hearing conflicting versions of the current situation, a majority of the Polish apple producers we've spoken to, confirm that there is really nothing to complain about this season. Sure, it could have been better, but it could also have been much worse.

"Of course, there was a small number of growers in Poland who had almost 100% losses, but this percentage is extremely low and they are usually very small growers. It is important not to forget that many were insured, which means that they would have been reimbursed for their losses," confirmed Marcin Świątek from Bialski Owoc Sp. z o.o.

"Unfortunately, you always have some growers who feel like complaining, whether that is to get more aid or higher prices."

Marcin said that he didn't really know of anyone in his area, who had more than the 30-40% losses. As reported previously, the high apple prices are currently offsetting any losses that might have occurred because of the frost, making it an average season sales wise for most.

"Even though the situation is good for now, it will be the moment of truth for many when the storage doors open over the next few months. Cold stores are not health centres, so if apples were put in which were of lower quality, they are not going to be any better off after all this time in storage. We shouldn't expect miracles," said Marcin.

For the coming season, it is expected that more and more growers will invest in the red varieties such as Red Gala. Sales continue to be strong for apples which are almost 100% red, as opposed to yellow or bi-coloured apples.

When asked if he thinks that Ukrainian apples will pose a long term threat to Polish producers, Marcin replied; "In the beginning, many Polish apple growers went to Ukraine to support the development of apple production there, until they realised that they might be helping a future competitor. Since then, producers in Ukraine have been left on their own, and I don't think that they have enough experience to deal with issues which could come up in the future. We have the advantage in Poland that our apple production has been passed on from generation to generation, so we are better equipped to deal with any difficulties which come our way. I think that producers there might realise that it's not as simple as they think, and that one bad winter could have a huge effect on the orchards they have built up."

For more information:
Marcin Świątek
Bialski Owoc Sp. z o.o.
Tel: +48 533-205-500

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