The mushroom sector in Poland is still dealing with the effects of the pandemic. Due to restaurants and other businesses in tourism being closed, demand is extremely low compared to a normal season. Demand is in fact so low, that some days a large chunk of the produce has to be thrown away.
The pandemic has definitely left its mark on the Polish mushroom sector, says Natasza Al-Khateeb, trader for Polish exporter Anslaw. “Currently, we can see an overproduction of mushrooms in Poland. Meanwhile, the demand for mushroom is much lower in comparison to previous years. It’s due to the general situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The demand comes mainly from customers that have their markets outside of the gastronomy and tourist businesses, and still manage to function to some extent. We’ve observed a significant drop in orders coming from our customers.”
Demand has dropped so much, that some produce is wasted. To ignite some new interest in their produce, Anslaw has decided to freshen up their packaging: “There are days where we are forced to throw away a big chunk of our mushroom production because of decrease in demand. We are very cautious going forward. To draw in new customers, we decided to introduce new packaging option, top sealed trays, which are able to contain up to 250g of mushrooms, plus trays up to 500g. They are biodegradable and fully recyclable.” Al-Khateeb explains.
A good option for Anslaw would be to find its way into a new market. Acoording to Al-Khateeb, they would like expand their clientele in France. “The main market for our mushroom is UK and Scandinavian countries. We would be interested in expanding our export to the French market. Our goal is to keep the sales at a level close to previous season, despite the challenging season we’re facing. If we manage to minimize the losses, it will be rewarding in itself. However we do realize it’s going to be an uphill battle, considering the factors mentioned above.” She concludes.