Appetite for Polish food


From the accession to the EU, the value of exports of Polish food and food products is growing. In 2019, it reached 31.4 billion euros. That's approx. 5.8 percent more than a year earlier.

As analysts from the National Support Centre for Agriculture (KOWR) emphasise, so good export performance in this commodity group is thanks to positive change involving restructuring and modernisation that took place in the Polish agriculture and agri-food sector after accession to the EU, as well as the possibility of free trade with the Member States. Undoubtedly, Polish food products are also distinguished by high quality and competitive prices.

Export leaders

A key position in the commodity structure of Polish exports of agri-food products is held by meat and meat products. In 2019, foreign customers bought 1.4 million tons of red meat along with processed meat with a value of 3.8 billion euros. On the other hand, exports of poultry meat (including offal) increased by 10 percent to 1.5 million tons, and its value reached 2.6 billion euros, i.e. approx. 9 percent more than in 2018.

Meat is not the only product that plays a significant role in the Polish trade with foreign countries. Other products that attract the interest of foreign customers include: bread, rolls, pastry, cakes and other bakery products; chocolate and other food containing cocoa; dried, salted and smoked fish, fish fillets and other fish meat (even minced); cheese and curd, as well as malt extract or fruit and vegetable juices. All of these product groups together constitute more than half of Polish food exports.

The value of exports for quite a few of them increased in 2019. In the forefront are: processed grain and flour − by 8 percent to 2.9 billion euros, dairy products − by 2 percent to 2.3 billion euros, and fish and fish products − by 5 percent to 2.2 billion euros. Higher was also the value of exports of confectionery products − by 9 percent to 2.0 billion euros, vegetables and processed vegetables − by 6 percent to 1.8 billion euros, as well as feed products including oilcake − by 14 percent to 1.4 billion euros, fruit including processed fruit − by 1% to 1.4 billion euros, and coffee, tea and cocoa − by 12 percent to 0.8 billion euros.

It is worth mentioning that the wider group of agri-food products also includes a lot of items with export potential. They include butter and other fats, as well as oils derived from milk; dairy spreads; ice cream, pasta, onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and other alliaceous vegetables.

Direction for Polish food

Polish food enters mainly the EU market. Exports to EU countries amounted to 25.6 billion euros, which accounted for 81 percent of revenues obtained from exports of agri-food products. Poland's main trading partner is Germany, but the major recipients of Polish agri-food products also include: the United Kingdom (EUR 2.8 bn), the Netherlands (EUR 2.0 bn), Italy and France (EUR 1.7 bn) and the Czech Republic (EUR 1.5 bn).

Last year Poland sold food to non-EU countries worth 5.9 billion euros compared with 5.2 billion euros a year earlier. Exports to other countries (non-EU and non-CIS) increased by 12 percent to 4.3 billion euros. A major recipient of these countries was the United States, which bought Polish agri-food products worth 551 million euros, Saudi Arabia (EUR 302 m.), Israel (EUR 245 m.) and China (EUR 207 m.).

POLAGRA's support for exports

The POLAGRA fair is an important project supporting Polish companies from the food industry in the development of an international network of business contacts. The event is organised every year based on the needs of entrepreneurs, as well as suggestions of industry associations. Its strength is mainly evidenced by international visitors, representing foreign distributors and purchasing groups. An important role in this regard is played by the “Hosetd Buyers” project, under which in the past year the fair was attended by nearly 70 entrepreneurs from 15 countries interested in establishing trade cooperation with Polish food producers. The presence of foreign guests at POLAGRA is also thanks to many years of experience and high competence of the team preparing the event.

This year, POLAGRA Exhibitors will be able to take advantage of the potential carried by the newly created platform Buy Poland.

- Being aware of the importance food trade for the whole Polish exports, we also support the industry with additional initiatives, an example of which is the newly created Buy Poland service that promotes Polish exports potential with the food industry at the forefront. This platform is an effective tool for foreign partners in the search of Polish suppliers. Today we are taking action to promote the platform addressed, among others, to Polish diplomatic missions and foreign branches of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH). The idea and functionality of Buy Poland will also be recommended to business customers around the world by foreign representatives of Grupa MTP. − says Marcin Gorynia, director of POLAGRA.

The online catalogue contains information on thousands of Polish manufacturers of the strongest industries, including the food industry. Each of the companies presented on the Buy Poland platform has its business card − a brief description of activities, contact details and a link to the website. And these are big and small companies that sell their products both under their own as well as third-party brands. The company catalogue is constantly supplemented, work on additional functionalities of the platform is also underway.

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