In Poland, Genesis Fresh is anticipating a good season for its apples this year. Factors such as good growing conditions, high quality and a favourable position compared with some other exporting countries have come together to generate great optimism.
The group’s export manager Jan Nowakowski told Fruitnet that weather conditions had been good this year, with total volumes increasing, although the season would be slightly delayed.
“We had a mild spring, without frosts and hails and the winter has been longer this year so the season for apples will be delayed for about two weeks,” he said. “We expect a good crop and volume with quality on a good level, so we are able to export apples for long transit destinations like India, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
“We will definitely have bigger volumes this season,” Nowakowski confirmed. “We expect about 20 per cent higher overall production compared with last year.
"Other countries like Italy or France will have fewer apples this year, so Poland will be a good alternative to fulfil the demand for European apples across various markets.”
The EU is still the main export market for Genesis Fresh, with the company supplying Europe for two decades.
Destinations such as India, the Middle East and Egypt are seen as markets the company has the opportunity to develop further.
Nowakowski noted that it had also received requests to export its apples to certain South American countries – something it is monitoring and may explore in the future.
“Demand is growing each year, and we are exploring new markets worldwide,” he said, while also highlighting the varietal mix the company was now working with. “Each year, we offer more and more Gala varieties apples. We have less coloured but stripy varieties like Royal Gala and fully red Brookfield Gala family apples. In the long-term future, we will offer club varieties like Evelina or Crimson Crisp apples.”
On top of the usual market challenges, the industry is also having to adapt to the ‘new normal’ that is a world with Covid-19. However, there is an upside, Nowakowski noted, in that consumers are leaning towards healthier eating habits.
“Indeed, we observe a greater interest in people living healthy lifestyles, which comes with greater demand for fresh fruit an vegetables,” he added. “Hopefully, this trend will continue in the coming years and people will follow this path to build up their healthy habits, with natural vitamins from fresh produce.”