The Polish apple season is shaping up to be a good one, with a lot more volumes than the last season produced: “The weather has been great for the apples on the trees, it has led to an increase in volumes. We could even say there’s too many apples on the trees, as I would normally have 800 tons of Golden apples in my orchards. This year, I’m looking at 1600 tons, so volumes have doubled,” Mohamed Marawan, owner of Sarafruit, explains: “This is true for most, if not all, of the varieties in my orchards. So production is very high, although there are farmers who have pulled the plug on their apple operation, so it’s unclear what Poland’s total production will be.”

Marawan states that there have been some farmers who have given up on apple farming due to the disappointing season last year. “Last season wasn’t very profitable for farmers, as the input costs were very high and prices were very low. As a result, some farmers chose not to harvest all of their apples and just left them on the trees. Others were able to make a profit via exports and have continued to invest in their orchards for the upcoming season. Whether the higher production on the trees will be positive for the farmers will depend on the price. For example, I only use my apples for export, so I do not sell any on the domestic market, where prices are lower. And if there is a bumper crop, it could lead to lower prices for export as well, so we’ll have to see how it balances out.”  

Some Polish produce growers feared a lack of workforce this year, as Ukrainian man will be fighting in the war rather than harvesting fruits in Poland. Marawan feels the price of labor will go up, but there should be enough people available that are willing to work. “Despite the war in Ukraine, I feel we’ll still have enough labor available to us for the harvest this season. Sure, it will mean an increase in costs, as we’ll have to pay the workers slightly more, but finding the workforce shouldn’t be an issue.”  

As Sarafruit has its main market in Egypt, the issues of the Central Bank not clearing transactions for imports will have to be resolved for a successful season, Marawan explains: “When it comes to the current issues of exporting produce to Egypt, I’ve heard that the Polish Government is in talks with the Egyptian commission to find a solution. Of course there will be talks regarding the trade agreement, but the biggest player will be the Central Bank. They’ll need to release the money that is destined for the produce exporters in Poland. This isn’t just an apple-issue, as it affects all imports to Egypt. Our plan now is to set up a company in Egypt, however we would need approval to import, which is not given to a newly established company. I have hope that a solution will be found, because a solution is desperately needed.”

For more information:
Mohamed Marawan
Tel: +48 537 935 155