F2C News: Poland Tastes Good, With More than One Good Taste

As Europe's most powerful food producer and processor, Poland boasts a long list of food products for export. The data showed that Polish food exports have been growing at an astonishing rate since 2000, with total trade increasing more than fivefold within two decades. Despite such excellent performance, nearly 80% of its trade value is currently generated from business with EU countries, while its food exports to China account for only 1% of its total food exports. Obviously, there is still huge space for its development in the China market.

As one of the most important countries in central and eastern Europe, Poland has been building stronger and deeper relationship with China in recent years. More and more high-quality Polish food products are being delivered into China, as China is gradually opening up its market to Polish food, from the establishment of strategic partnership between China and Poland in 2011, the "1+16" cooperation mechanism between China and central and eastern European countries and the "Belt and Road" initiative of the Chinese government, to the opening of China International Import Expo. According to Andrzej Juchniewicz, chief representative of Polish Investment and Trade Agency in China, Poland's food exports to China rose by 76% in the first five months of 2019. More and more Polish brands, from breakfast cereals to apples, beer and dairy products, are appearing on the Chinese people's dinner tables. Moreover, the African swine fever and pork cycle have negative impact on the Chinese meat industry, and greatly increased the demand for overseas meat products in China market, providing good development opportunities for Polish poultry to be exported to the Chinese market.

Three key words of Polish food: high quality, good taste, reasonable price

Polish food enjoys a worldwide reputation for its high quality, good taste and reasonable prices, mainly thanks to the innovation and support of Polish government agencies for local agricultural production and food processing technology.

As a large agricultural country with a long history, Polish agriculture is based on family farms with both tradition and modernization. Polish family farms, generally highly mechanized, use advanced farming techniques on a large scale, which are quite different from the Chinese style. According to representatives of Research Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice, the high-quality agricultural products in Poland are inseparable from the priority that the country gives to the development of agriculture. As an official agency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Poland), the Research Institute has been committed to all kinds of agricultural planting techniques and research work, such as the plant genetic research and development, the innovation of planting method, cultivation technology of fruit and vegetable and equipment upgrades to food safety, etc. It provides technical support for the farmers in an all-round way. Now, many Polish farms use the most advanced farming techniques and equipment, many of which are even more advanced than those in western Europe, providing strong support for Polish food exports.

At present, Polish food products exported to China are mainly cow's and goat's milk and dairy products (73%) , candy, chocolate and other cocoa products (0.8%) , poultry meat and its by-products (3.5%) , tea and fruit drinks (14%) , fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables (3.2%) . Other foods exported to China from Poland include sweets, chocolate and other cocoa products, poultry and seafood and their by-products, nuts, drinks, etc.

And in China, the fullest varieties of Polish products are currently available in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, followed by Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Consumers can not only be able to buy these products easily in large supermarkets, but also can find a wide variety of Polish food on major e-commerce platforms. The most popular Polish snack online, found on a large e-commerce site, is Lorenz's Saltletts Snack Mix. Polish milk produced by Laciate also topped the list of Polish milk sales ranking in the platform. In addition, a wide variety of Polish chocolate, fruit juice and healthy food are also well received by Chinese consumers for their high quality, lower price and excellent taste.

What makes a good source of milk?

Traditionally, a country with fertile land would be regarded as a land rich in milk and honey, and this is the case in Poland. The clean environment, verdant pastures and the absence of excessive chemicals in the soil enable Poland to produce high-quality cow milk, goat milk and related products.

As milk and dairy products top all food exported to China, the status of dairy industry in Poland's food industry is evident, moreover, cheese is regarded as the "Pearl on the Crown" of its dairy industry. Poland has been taken as the sixth largest dairy producer in the world and the fifth largest in Europe, which is closely related not only to its unique geographical environment, but also to its long history of dairy industry and national technical support. According to M.Sc.eng. Waldemar Bros', president of Polska Izba Mleka, Poland has a long history in dairy industry development. Until now, Polish farmers have maintained a traditional way of farming that meets the requirements of environmental protection. At the same time, the farms with diversified  management adopt advanced captive breeding technology and equipment to enable cattle and sheep to living in the most comfortable conditions. Thus, these livestock can produce the best quality milk.

Polish people are most proud of their cheese, which  is also made from these high-quality milk, being fermented in a traditional way.  Polish ripened cheese, with its mild and delicate taste, and fruity, fragrant or sweet aroma, has been popular  in many countries. It is believed that it will also appear on the dinner table of Chinese families in the near future.

The Globally Well-known Bicolored Apple

Taken as the granary of Europe, Poland is known for producing a wide diversity of apples.  At present, it is the world's largest exporter of apples, as well as the largest apple producer in Europe and third largest in the world, exporting more than 80% of its output. In June 2016, China and Poland signed the "Plant Quarantine Agreement for Polish Exports to China". Since then, Polish apples officially got  access to the China market, which enabled thousands of Chinese families to enjoy the delicacy.

The apples produced in Poland is a representative of Polish agricultural products. The fresh apples are bicolored with thin skins that have a red-to-yellow blush, which taste sweet, crunchy and juicy. Unlike many apples on the market, Polish apples are less sweet with a little sour. This unique flavor depends largely on the climate. The summer here is warm in full sun from July to early September, with limited rainfall. Cool nights and warm days in the second half of September and October stimulate the production of fructose without causing the natural phenomenon of over mature apples on the tree.

Thanks to its unique taste, excellent quality and strict control, Polish apples are very popular in the international market. In order to cater to the Chinese consumer market, Polish apple producers have continuously improved the quality and taste of the apples according to the needs of Chinese consumers. Now there are more than 100 apple varieties grown in Poland. However, there are currently nine varieties that can be imported into China, including Gala apple and Ligol.

Despite the strong advantages of Polish apples, it also had to solve some difficulties on its way to the China market. Firstly, China is also a major producer of apples with many varieties. What’s more, a variety of apples from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and other countries have already entered into the Chinese market earlier than Polish apple. How to get a share of the Chinese market in the fierce competition? There is still a long way to go for Polish apple in China market.

Polish poultry: strict standards make good quality

Polish people believe that their country owns the best quality poultry in the world. And there is a reason for this confidence. The Polish poultry has all the features of "high-quality poultry in the world, from its source,  its growth to its quality control.

Since 2014, Poland has been one of the largest poultry producers in the European Union and the world's leading poultry trader. Polish poultry meat needs to meet the strict requirements of European law from feeding, breeding to processing, so as to ensure the freshness of meat and food safety.

For the sake of people's food security, the concept to ensure food safety "from farm to table" came into existence. In order to realize this idea, both the relevant agricultural departments and farmers in Poland must strictly abide by the relevant specification. The entire procedures, from breed selection, feeding, slaughtering, packaging to delivery, must be monitored in real time and put on record at any time to ensure that every poultry product on the consumer's table is traceable to its source. In addition, enterprises must ensure a sterile environment for food production and processing, and minimize the exposure of poultry meat to the bacteria environment, which is also the secret to maintain the high quality of poultry meat.

Despite Polish poultry meat has high quality and stable production, it still faces many challenges at present. As the European market, which is the main importer of Polish poultry, becomes saturated. Thus, Polish poultry exporters must look for other markets, and China is one of them. For the Polish poultry industry, the Chinese market offers the largest opportunities, and of course, also brings great challenges accompanied by the fierce competition. In addition to price, other factors such as tariff barriers also have an impact on Polish poultry exports. At present, frozen poultry products from Poland that can be imported into China include frozen chicken, frozen chicken breast, frozen drumsticks, frozen chicken drumette, frozen chicken wingette, frozen chicken wings, frozen turkey, frozen turkey breast, frozen turkey leg, and frozen turkey wings.

There is more than one good taste in Poland

Poland is located in the center of Europe, bordering the cold Baltic Sea in the north, with mountains on the south border. Numerous rivers and streams are abundant in fish, and the fertile land is planted with a wide variety of crops. The vast forests and grasslands are feeding a large number of poultry, cattle and sheep. This is the beautiful and rich Poland! Not only the delicious Polish food is made from the high quality food ingredients given by nature, the Polish culinary arts which combines the East and the West also makes the Polish table more abundant.

If you want to count the uniqueness of Polish cuisine, then each of the dishes with the charm of sour, sweetness, bitter, spiciness, saltiness should occupy a position. What is Polish taste? It is salty as aged pickles, sour as green apples, spicy as horseradish, sweet as honey. The Polish people’s hospitality is so fascinating that people will lose themselves in PolandWhen we talk about the Polish food, What we exactly talk about is the historical and cultural changes in Poland. This begins in the fifth and sixth centuries AD. We all know that Poland has a unique geographical advantage. The land is growing a lot of food crops, such as barley, wheat, oats and so on. At the beginning, the Polish people were used to bake bread and other pasta, and then serve with seasoning. Later, soy foods and a variety of soups and drinks made from fruits and vegetables gradually appeared on the table of Polish people. With the development of culture, a variety of dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt-based diet style, was formed in the medieval period. Subsequently, sweet and spicy flavored spice sauce, strong alcohol drinks, coffee and tea became gradually popular in Poland. As the cultural exchanges between Poland and other countries became more and more frequent, cooking techniques and methods were gradually combined with other countries, forming a food style that integrates the essence of different countries. The younger generation of chefs are showcasing traditional Polish culinary art in a novel and alluring way. There is no doubt that Polish food has overwhelmed foodies all over the world, but in the end, the essence of food is delicious taste. It comes from traditional skills, exquisite selection of materials and respect for the diners who are about to enjoy it. To discover the secrets of Polish cuisine, you must go to Poland in person and find out by yourself.

Special thanks to KOWR

Website: www.kowr.gov.pl

The National Support Centre for Agriculture (KOWR) is a Polish public finance sector institution, supervised by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and operating since 1 September 2017. It was established by merging two state agricultural agencies-the Agricultural Property Agency and the Agricultural Market Agency.


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