It’s been quite a challenging apple season in Poland. Not just in terms of picking all the apples, but also when it came to sales in the early parts of the season. Dominik Woźniak, VP of sales for Polish apple exporter Rajpol, says: “The 2022/23 apple season was a challenging one for the growers in Poland. The crop in the Autumn of 2022 was one of the largest yield in the last five years. However, a lack of workers meant that a significant volume of apples was left in the field. The first part of the season was also difficult in terms of sales, especially the prices were disappointing at this point. Thankfully, since February situation became better now we are almost in end of sales and all looks good.”
Although the stocks of Rajpol aren’t depleted completely just yet, Woźniak is certain they’ll be able to sell everything before the new season gets going. “Our stock of apples remains in balance and it looks that all of our product will be sold before the new season will start. As Rajpol, we supply about 60 per cent of our apples to Polish retailers, while 30 per cent makes its way to European supermarket chains. The final 10 per cent of apples is exported to markets outside of Europe, mainly India, Middle East and Asia, but also Latin America is present in our client base.”
The new season starting will look quite different, with availability depending on the variety, Woźniak explains: “The coming Polish apple season will be different than the last one. It’s certain that the total apple crop will be lower than it was in 2022. Especially when it comes to the Jonagold and Idared varieties, but these are more for the local market. That said, the crops for Gala, Golden and Red Delicious look promising and we are counting on good volumes for these apples. Quality seems to be on par, as we have enough water here in central Poland. So far, the only big problems until now have been with hail or other weather events.”
On 15th June, during the Gala, being a culmination of this year's edition of the Modern Distribution Congress, the Rajpol Fruit Producers Group was awarded in the Top Exporter category. The award was received from the President of Lidl Polska, Mr Włodzimierz Wlaźlak, by Rajpol's CEO, Hubert Woźniak. When receiving the award, Hubert Wozniak emphasised the uniqueness of the cooperation between the 170 fruit growers associated within the Rajpol Group.
“In the coming season we would like to develop the new markets we managed this season, while keeping our options open in terms of new possibilities. We can show the world there’s a good reason we’ve won this prestigious award. I see a good demand for high quality fruits from Latin America, the Middle East and Asia,” Woźniak concludes.