Fruit-Group on growing in the soft fruit market

“Dealing with soft fruit is not as simple as apples”

As the prices for blueberries in Poland have gone down over the past few years, consumption has been rising. With the current apple situation in mind, this has led to some apple growers deciding to remove apple plantations in order to make room for the cultivation of blueberries.

The current apple stocks in Poland are lacking a couple of varieties according to Emilia Lewandowska of Fruit-Group. “We hope the lack of varieties is something of this moment and that the situation will improve soon. Prices are also slightly up,” she explains. Like many other apple growers, Fruit-Group is looking for alternatives, as the apple seasons have been far from ideal the past two years. “As a company we hope to achieve higher sales in soft fruit this season. The amount of blueberry plantations in Poland is increasing year by year. Some apple growers are going as far as to remove some of their apple plantations to create room for new blueberry plantations.”

The consumption of blueberries is going up in Poland, as people have more money to spend. At the same time blueberries have gotten slightly cheaper, given Fruit-Group a chance to get a foothold in the market: “At this moment we focus on our local market, however we do cooperate with polish chains and did some export of blueberries already. Compared to sales from the two past years we have doubled it in the last season. We’re still relatively new to this market, as before 2015 we only worked with stone fruit such as plums, sweet cherries and sour cherries. In last four seasons we expanded our offer to blueberries, blackcurrant, redcurrant, gooseberry, raspberry and blackberry.” Lewandowska said.

The focus for the past few season has been on gaining experience in the local market, as well as exporting the first small volumes to Germany. “Dealing with soft fruit is not so simple as dealing with apples. That’s why we don’t have any expectations for export. Mainly we focus on local market. Export will naturally grow year by year, but in what amounts is hard to say. We’re a responsible company, that’s why we do it step by step and want to be sure that the product is suitable for our clients. We want to gain higher sales of soft fruit and maintain current sale of apples. We want to keep good service for our clients and fulfil our clients demands.” Lewandowska concludes.

Fruit-Group will be exhibiting during Fruit Logistica in Berlin. You can find them in the CityCube Hall B, booth D-09.

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