What are the key trends that Milbor observed in 2021?
Maciej Chmielewski: We’ve noticed more than before that blueberry plantings in Europe have continued to grow.
Countries such as Poland and Germany are constantly expanding in terms of production, and new supply countries are emerging. Large increases can be seen in Balkan nations such as Romania, Serbia, Moldova and Croatia.
We still see growing interest in production automation. Due to the pandemic, manufacturers and companies are trying to reduce human involvement in the process of preparing the finished product as much as possible.
In the age of coronavirus, the presence of humans can cause production downtime or health problems for workers. Automation is also increasing due to the fact that there is a big problem with labour in western and central European markets.
Was it a positive year for your operations?
MC: The European market is growing and we are growing with it.
It was a very positive year in terms of sales, but we had to contend with production problems, such as a lack of spare parts.
It affected the longer delivery date on some of our machines. Therefore, we had to negotiate in advance in order to close the deal with customers, to ensure that machines arrived on time.
We had to adjust to the new reality, and despite all the adversity we managed to reorganise everything in a proper way.
See the January 2022 issue of Eurofruit for the full interview