The apple trade between Poland and Egypt is rather unreliable, so sticking to the clients you have good relations with is the best option, says Mohamed Marawan, owner of Polish apple exporter Sarafruit.
“There are always challenges in this industry, but we’re still exporting apples to Egypt, mostly for our clients with whom we’ve had a good business history. Unfortunately we did have to cancel and ignore some other clients, either due to them not paying their invoices or the Egyptian bank making their transactions very difficult. Alternatively, we exporting our apples to India, Spain and Italy. But nothing can replace the Egyptian market, especially when you look at the volumes of apples we used to ship on a weekly basis to the Egyptian market.”
After all this time, Marawan still refuses to give up the Egyptian market, as it was a huge part of his business, he explains. “Looking towards the next year, Egypt will remain our main market. However we’re always trying to be as open and honest as possible when it comes to the challenges that we develop with our clients. Next year, I hope the issues with the financial situation in Egypt will finally be resolved. Everyone can be assured we will shout it from the rooftops once we can resume trade to Egypt in a normal way, this market is just that important for us.”
Club varieties are becoming more popular, and Marawan feels that Poland could be a front runner for club varieties in Europe. It’ll just take a few more years, he thinks. “When looking at the situation of club varieties and you compare it to seven years ago, I think the Polish industry is developing in a rapid pace. I think in a few years we’ll be the top European country when it comes to growing club varieties, and Poland will be competitive in this sector all over Europe. Just look at our reputation for non-club varieties. I hear from our clients that our Gala apple is the best Gala you can find in Europe. So we’re looking forward to the next few years.”
The high energy prices made quite a few apple growers nervous. Marawan feels it all begins with investing in the industrial apple sector, to help grow the first class apples segment: “When it comes to industrial apples, it will always be needed. As such, the Polish Government will have to invest in the industrial factories for growers, as we have to develop this sector to secure them enough money. Only then can the industrial apple help to continue the growth of the first class apples, to cover the cost of growing them in the orchards,” he concludes.
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