Poland: effect of Corona on agri & food sector

In order to inform about the impact of the coronavirus epidemics on businesses, the Netherlands-Polish Chamber of Commerce (NPCC), together with the Netherlands Embassy in Poland, is organising online webinars. On 23 April 2020 a webinar with BNP Paribas (Michał Siwek) and TopAgrar (Karol Bujoczek) was organized to assess the present state and future of agri-business in Poland.

Beeld: NL embassy Poland

Beef, poultry and flower sector in Poland most effected

The speakers presented the market situation, focusing on the beef, poultry, pork and dairy sector. In their assessment, the beef and poultry sectors are mostly affected by coronavirus epidemics restrictions, because of the dependence on exports, mainly to the EU HoReCa market. A similar situation is seen in the dairy sector which might soon additionally suffer from increased feed prices due to expected drought. Only pork market is relatively stabilized, due to demand for pork on the EU market as Spain, Germany and the Netherlands export a lot to China. The speakers mentioned that they also expect some positive impact on Food & Agri (F&A) sector, as the demand for food is not diminishing and they are used to operating with high sanitary standards. Farmers growing flowers, however, suffer from the crisis the most.

Changes in the Food & Agri sector Poland

The speakers also noticed that it is expected that corona crisis will impose some changes on the F&A industry. First of all the further development of e-grocery is expected, with limited contact with the final consumer (click-and-collect preferred). The second trend will be the development of local shops, close to home, with no-brand, however, due to demand for “all in one store”, shopping streets might develop. Also the shopping habits of consumers are expected to be changed – they will look more for fresh healthy food, trusted brands and bigger size packaging.

Challenges and opportunities

Finally, the challenges and opportunities for agro sector were analyzed. Certainly, organizing food production with the corona-related restrictions of keeping the distance is seen as a challenge, as well as ensuring that products do not pose risk of infection to consumers. However, with more demand from consumers for less processed food that will boost immunity – in this respect F&A sector should be developing further. This gives opportunities for both Polish farmers (local market) and processors, who might look for the new export markets with their high quality production.

At the end also the second threat to agri-sector was mentioned – drought – which already in affected regions is of more concern than coronavirus. Nevertheless, in conclusion it was stated that optimism of food-and-agri sector can be noticed.

Presentation online

Presentations from the webinar and the webinar itself can be found on the website: