Preparations for the new apple season in Poland have already started. Taking care of the trees now will result in a harvest with more quality, which should be the main focus of Polish growers going forward. At least that’s what one apple trader has claimed before, and wants to emphasize again.
Over the past season Mohamed Marawan, Managing Director for Sarafruit, made some predictions about the Polish apple season. For one he recommended Polish apple traders to not store their apples in cold storages for too long, as it would not make a difference: “Recently a lot of apple traders opened their cold storages and finally released the huge amount of apples that were still locked away. The result was another crash in the price, and the funny thing was people started protesting in the streets! As if nobody had warned them this would happen. Either way, I hope this past season has been a lesson for a lot of Polish apple growers. We need to do things differently next season.”
Another record harvest of Polish apples would be near impossible, as the trees already gave a huge crop this season. “Just because the harvest won’t be as big, does not mean there won’t be a huge amount of apples available from the Polish market. I think there will be around four million tons this year. I hope Polish farmers will start focusing on increasing the quality of their apples, instead of getting a bigger harvest,” Marawan explains. “How they can do this? Well, it starts right now. You need to take care of the trees during this time, and when the flowering starts the growers must monitor their orchards very, very closely! Sizes should be monitored and the apples should not be allowed to grow bigger than 80 millimeters in size. They also need to keep an eye out on the amount of apples already growing on the trees and act accordingly. If everyone would take steps in these matters, everyone would received a good price for their produce.”
For Sarafruit, Egypt has proven to be a great market for the Polish apples. “We as a company and producer have sent 10,000 tons of apples to Egypt alone. They have imported impressive amounts of apples, and we hope and expect this to continue next year. The Egyptians are mostly looking for Idared apples, as they are more affordable than the Golden or Gala varieties. However these are the varieties Polish people should focus on. Idared for North Africa and Gala/Golden for the Middle-Eastern or Asian market. The Europeans also like the more expensive, quality apples over the Idared.” Marawan said.
In terms of new markets for next season, Marawan has a couple of suggestions for both his own company, as for other Polish apple exporters: “We think Libya is a really interesting market. They are located in the North of Africa, making transport just as convenient as for the Egyptian market. They have a big population and therefor must have a healthy demand for our fruit. When looking at the Middle-East, Iraq seems very promising, although we are not able to export to that country as of now. We currently don’t know how they work, but if they are willing to work with Polish exporters, a huge amount could be sent to them. They currently import their apples from neighboring countries, who conveniently import their apples from Poland already. We would love to cut out the middle man and just supply them directly!” Marawan concludes.