The blueberry season has started, and the Polish berries have not had to endure a lot of spring frosts like in previous years. Volumes are looking good, but rains could still cause some damage to the fruits. That said, there is more than enough room for growth this season.
Emilia Lewandowska, office manager for Polish apple and berry exporter Fruit-Group, states they’ll be able to supply a variety of soft fruit this year: “In our group of producers, we have summer species as strawberries, sweet cherries, sour cherries, redcurrant, gooseberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberries on offer from this point on. We’ve had low temperatures lately, and the nights are also rather cold. That is why vegetation has slowed down lately in blueberries by about one week. In redcurrants and sweet cherries, the rains have been quite problematic. But at least you won’t see us complaining about a lack of rain this year!”
The rain could cause damage to the unharvested berries in the upcoming weeks. So far, the quality of the fruits has not been compromised by the rains, Lewandowska explains. “We had strong hail in some regions of the Grójec district. Some of the berry plantations were also partially touched. At this moment, though, the fruits are of good quality. We just hope that more rain will not cause any cracking of the fruit.”
Fruit-Group will aim for another year of growth this season, as they intend to export 20% more than they did in the previous season. “Year by year, we’re seeing higher demand for blueberries, as consumption is going up. In the last season, we managed to sell 30 percent more than the year before that. We hope that this trend will continue this year. Our aim is to get about 20 percent growth in volumes of berries. Of course, it will be dictated by the market. On the other hand, we have to think about inflation and the status of the consumer’s wallet. At this moment, we would like to expand, that is why we are focusing on the West of Europe. We hope that weather conditions will not work against us in obtaining the planned 20 percent of growth.”