Despite the oversupply of potatoes in Poland this season, quality issues have meant that importers have had to look to Germany to source small quantities of top quality potatoes. “There are still relatively large volumes of low quality potatoes available, costing around 7€ per kg. However, the quality is too low to make them interesting for retailers, which has meant that they are only able to be sold on local vegetable markets,” shared Łukasz Ostrowicz from Bugaj. “Higher quality potatoes average between €9 to €14 per kg, although many growers have not been willing to sell, with the hope of receiving higher prices later on. In my opinion, I am not sure if prices will reach the levels the growers are expecting. Therefore I believe that supplies of better quality potatoes should increase within coming weeks.”
The Polish Potato Association has been in contact with the Polish authorities who are actively working on negotiating deregulations for Polish exporters. If accepted by the EU authorities, exports without a certificate issued by phytosanitary authorities would only be allowed from farms that have proven to be safe for the past 3 years and only use qualified seed material. MainEXPORT destinations during the last few months were Belgium and the Netherlands, with relatively large export volumes being sent for french fry potatoes. Additional quantities have also been sold to Italy, Romania and Bulgaria. However, exports are expected to decrease in the coming weeks.
When asked about demand for organic potatoes in Poland, Łukasz said that; “The market for organic potatoes has been growing steadily, but demand is still not very big for them due to lack of consumer awareness. I think Poland still needs a few more years to catch up with Western European tendencies.”
The Polish potato industry will likely see a decrease in total growing areas, however, this will be a result of the industry making the transition to more and more professional growers. “I believe, there will be more and more professional growers who were previously engaged exclusively in production for industry who will be now adding table potatoes to their portfolio to diversify. Also, more growers are now willing to invest in professional long-term storage.” concluded Łukasz.