The past year has been described as breakthrough for the Jablka Grojeckie association in Poland, and for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Apples from Grojec.
Despite many challenges, including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the association is still standing strong, developing its offer and introducing new products.
“It was a strange year,” says Maciej Majewski, board president of Sady Grojeckie Association. “On one hand we have been seeing an increasing sales level of apples at the beginning of the year, when people were looking for healthy products, mainly because of the Covid pandemic.
'At the same time we have to be sure to maintain high levels of consumption at any given moment,' he explains. 'That is why Sady Grojeckie has joined a project which will be focusing on promoting apples as one of the fruits of choice in schools.”
Apples from Grojec was awarded its PGI certificate in 2011, and since then a lot of changes have taken place, with the association’s PGI specifications having to adapt accordingly.
“In order to refresh our offer we have prepared some changes to the specification,” Majewski continues. “Production of some of the varieties will be cancelled, but we are going back to the past, and would like to reintroduce some ‘old’ typically Polish varieties with PGI certification.”
Sady Grójeckie also plans to add completely new apple varieties, which are resistant to scab. As a result, Jablka Grojeckie will be able to reduce the use of plant protection products and will be better prepared for the European Green Deal.
Other changes are connected to the introduction of a completely new production strategy.
The association is working towards using some apples – which are still of the highest quality but do not meet standards in terms of size or are demonstrating signs of post-frost damage – for the production of juices, in line with its zero waste strategy.
In addition to this new production strategy, Jablka Grojeckie association is introducing new products.
“I think that such remarkable apples as Jablka Grojeckie PGI, deserve a lot more, and that is why we have decided to use the strong brand of Jablka Grojeckie PGI, to create an innovative and surprising line of juices,” Majewski adds.
“We have decided to create a completely new approach towards apple juice. Apart from classic NFC juice, we are also introducing apple juice with hops and sparkling apple juice. We hope that these last two propositions will be very attractive for younger customers and seekers of new taste.”