Polish apple growers were keen to sell their apples as fast as possible, to avoid costs for storing the produce, says Aniruddh Ramesh, director of Polish apple exporter LVMG Grupa: “In general the apple season in Poland has started on a high note. The quality of the fruits look extremely satisfying with good sizes, shapes, full colour and generally nice appearance, also we had few clients from Asia visiting us in our orchards who shared similar thoughts on this year’s harvest."
"There were a lot of possibilities to buy fruits straight from the trees. This meant that we could start packing and shipping immediately to our clients in the Asian markets, as well as stocking up on export quality fruits in good numbers for our CA’s.”
Although it’s too early to say precisely, the production of apples in Poland should be higher this year, Ramesh explains. “The volumes look plentiful, as usual, but it’s still a little early to give exact numbers on the quantities, as still there are still varieties to be picked fully. However, our assumption is that it could be an increase of around 5-10 per cent on the quantity of apples compared to the last season, despite some areas being affected by frost and hail, which brings down the expected quantity a bit.”
According to Ramesh, the demand for Polish apples from Asia and the Middle East is increasing every year: “For us, the Asian markets have always been growing each year. Our fruits to India are getting popular and demand is increasing with every season. Other growing markets are the Middle east and Vietnam. We’ve noticed lots of interest since our harvest from Dubai, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are keen as well. So this season we expect more volumes for the export varieties like Royal Gala, Red Delicious, Red Jonaprince and Golden Delicious. Each year we have more quantities of these high quality export varieties available and also our customer base is growing each year, hence the supply matches the demand for us.”
The costs of business is increasing in Poland, but Ramesh emphasizes that this challenge is present for most European countries and will not put LVMG at a disadvantage. “The labour shortage for picking and sorting has always been a challenge and this trend continues, especially since the war in Ukraine, which also skyrocketed the energy bills. This means the storage costs of fruits for a longer period will definitely be more expensive and transporting them also is going to cost more due to high fuel costs. But these challenges are all over Europe, so even the other fruit suppliers from the west would face similar challenges.”
Ramesh expects more sales of apples in the last months of the year, even when the southern hemisphere starts providing some competition: “The remainder of the season should get even better with sales from November and December onwards. For our export markets even after the southern hemisphere starts harvest and sales we are able to still continue with our quantities with ease. To conclude, our goal is to do more volume this season by carefully procuring only high quality fruits to maintain consistent quality to all the markets where we sell,” he concludes.