Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Roger Boons, Greenyard Logistics Poland:

'Our platform provides global producers with access to the Polish retail market'

Roger Boons' enthusiasm for the Polish market is undeniable. After entering the fresh produce industry in 1985, he quickly became active in Eastern Europe for the then New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board (Zespri) following the fall of the Berlin Wall. For the past six years, the Belgian has returned to his roots as the Commercial Director at Greenyard Logistics Poland.

Roger amidst his colleagues Martyna Oficjalska and Kinga Materska during the trade fairs

"In 2020, we decided to halt all trading activities in Poland. Since then, we've been operating 100% as an independent service provider. The main reason for this was noticing that large retailers are increasingly focusing on direct sourcing. We have fully adapted our facilities to this need," Roger explains. "We now have logistics centers for our fresh activities in Warsaw, Poznan, and Gdansk, offering 28,000 m2 of refrigerated space and 29,000 m2 of freezer space across various temperature zones from -20 to +18°C."

24 years active in Poland
"I strongly believe in this 'integrated customer relationship model', which is not new to the Greenyard Group. We operate as full supply chain providers, taking full service responsibility for our retail customers and their suppliers. The retailers then specify how the suppliers should deliver the products to their distribution centers. It's our job to provide comfort to the suppliers and to further exploit the potential of the Polish market. Over the years, it has become clear how much interest there is. Many global producers with recognized brands were interested in the Polish market but needed an independent, local logistics partner. We have been active in the country for 24 years and know it inside out. We have seen significant growth in recent years and expect an average increase of 15% in the coming years."

"Over the years, we have also expanded our added value services. We offer global fresh produce suppliers access to the Polish retail market by inspecting, sorting, cooling, ripening, packaging all products in-house, and distributing them daily to all possible distribution centers in Poland with our well-organized transport team (partially our own fleet). This is quite unique. Many can load and unload a pallet, but delivering it daily to every distribution center is not so simple. Additionally, we are increasingly offering our services to Polish exporters/importers by handling the import and export containers with our own forwarding department," Roger shares.

Rising purchasing power
"The Polish market has enormous potential. The consumption of fresh produce is embedded in Polish culture. Traditionally, Poland is a very price-sensitive market, with discount being the most common retail segment, but in recent years wages and thus purchasing power have been rising sharply. All major global producers have therefore set their sights on Poland in recent years. And not without reason, almost forty million people live in a healthy economic environment with a fresh produce consumption that still has much room for growth in a very diverse and extensive retail landscape. Because healthy eating and living are now high on the agenda in Poland."

"Traditionally, the import market in the summer months is a bit more challenging, as many Polish consumers remain very loyal to local products, such as soft fruit. But year-round, we see a huge demand emerging, especially for the 'new kids on the block' like avocados, mangoes, and imported blueberries. These exotics were never encountered before, and they are very grateful consumers for these products, alongside the standard range of vegetables, bananas, apples, citrus, and grapes," Roger tells. "Moreover, the country's infrastructure has developed enormously. When I first visited Poland just after the fall of the wall, the roads and facilities were poor and accessibility was also not well established. In a relatively short time, the country's infrastructure has developed at a rapid pace."

New origins
Greenyard sources fresh produce from all over the world from ports such as Rotterdam or Koper. "Traditionally, Spain and Italy play a prominent role in the supply to Poland, but in recent years we have seen a significant increase from origins like Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Greece, and Morocco. Especially from the port of Koper - where we have a favorable transit time - we see volumes increasing, not only in citrus but also in vegetables. I expect this to only increase currently given the Red Sea issues."

The competition is not standing still either. "You see a number of new service providers positioning themselves in the market and more and more trading companies offering logistics services to provide a complete service package to retail. But I am glad that competition is increasing, it shows that the model makes sense," Roger observes. "But the market has enough potential. If you just look at avocado consumption, it has indeed skyrocketed, but there is still a world to win. Our biggest challenge is to remain relevant, add value, and respond to new trends in the market. Our model can only grow if the retail interest in direct sourcing continues to increase. Therefore, we must remain vigilant and not miss the boat."

"Traditionally, many fresh produce products in Poland are still sold loose, but we see the traditional packaging offering shifting to other packaging and machines. We are responding to this by carrying all possible packaging. In the past, we had the advantage of cheap labor in Poland, but the difference is getting smaller due to rising wages. Hence, we are fully committed to automation, optimization, and innovation!"

For more information:
Roger Boons
Greenyard Logistics Poland Sp. z o.o.
Ul. Wiśniowa 1
96-321 Żabia Wola / Poland
Tel.: +48 570 879 919

Publication date: