Poland, brief agricultural news week 7, 2019

What happened in Poland last week? A brief overview of agricultural news.

Bill adopted on voluntary labeling of products produced without the use of GMO

The Polish government adopted a bill which regulates the rules for labeling food and feed produced without GMOs. The proposed provisions assume that consumers will have access to information on the method of food and feed production as regards the use of GMOs in order to make a more conscious choice during shopping. According to public opinion polls, 65% of the Poles are in favor of introducing a ban on GMO cultivation, and 57% of the would choose a product from animals fed with GMO-free feed of the people when having a choise.

The voluntary labeling scheme for products from animals or animals fed with non-GMO feeds, as "GMO-free" products may be an additional incentive to use domestic feed produced without the use of genetically modified soybeans and stimulating the use of native non-GMO protein crops for feeding purposes. Poland has already legislation which will restrict the use of GMO ingredients in feed. Supervision over the use of "GMO-free" labeling will be entrusted to the Trade Quality Inspection of Agricultural and Food Products, the Veterinary Inspection and the Trade Inspection. The new regulations are to enter into force on January 1, 2020.

hart van bloemen

Poles celebrate Valentine’s Day

Poles are more and more eager to celebrate Valentine's Day. In 2018 they spent PLN 1.5 billion on this occasion and nearly 60% declare celebrating it. Thought 15% is aware that this is a typical commercial holiday, it does not discourage them from spending. Approximately 32% of Poles dedicate a budget ranging from PLN 100 to PLN 300 to Valentine's Day, a budget comparable to at least one Christmas present. On the occasion of Valentine's Day Poles most often buy flowers, in 2018 the result was 137% higher than in 2016. However, flowers are often only an addition to the main surprise as Poles are mainly willing to spend money on celebrating together with the other half, e.g. the number of transactions in restaurants increased by 56% in 2018 (source:"Mastercard Love Index").

Pine wood nematode found in wooden crates

Inspectors of PIORIN (Polish Inspection for Plant Protection) found live nematodes of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus at the Polish border in the wooden pellets carrying a shipment refrigerators, despite the fact that these wooden pellets had a symbol showing execution of the right phytosanitary treatment. Bursaphelenchus xylophilus commonly known as pine wood nematode is a pest that is dangerous for the European needle forests. The nematode evokes pine sickness that leads to the death of a tree. The biggest danger in the spread of the disease form the international trade of wood or wooden pellets which are used for transport of goods. To avoid the spread of nematodes, the pellets should be treated with a special phytosanitary treatment (ISPM 15) like chamber drying. Considering the high risk of the nematode for pine trees in European forests, all inspections in Europe are obliged to eradicate the pest. The share of pine trees in Polish forests is 60%.

Prices fluctuation for industry apples in Poland

This year China produced 12 mln tones apples less which caused a lack of apple juice concentrate on the global market. Therefore the price for industry apples on the Polish market increased from 0.1PLN/kg in September 2018 to 0.3PLN/kg in February 2019. Some farmers organizations say however that the price increase was caused by the intervention of the Polish private company Eskimos. In September 2018 Eskimos announced that it will buy 0.5 mln tonnes apples for industry at 0.25PLN/kg which was a double price compared to the regular market price at that time. In 2018 Poland produced 4.4mln tonnes apples of which 2.7-2.8 mln tonnes for industry (mainly due to lacking quality of the apple). This caused a temporary drop in prices of industry apples on the Polish market and several protests of Polish orchard farmers in the second half of 2018.

PLN 18.3 million for subsidies for interest rates on preferential loans for farmers

ARiMR, the Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture has announced that it has PLN 18.3 million available for subsidies for interest rates on preferential loans for farmers. With this measure, farmers may apply for a loan for investment in agriculture and resumption of production after damage caused by adverse weather events. Additional funds will enable investment loans in the amount of PLN 3 billion, and subsidies for their interest rates will amount to PLN 10 million. In the case of so-called "disaster" loans, the credit limit is PLN 1 billion, and additional interest payments amount to PLN 8.3 million. Preferential loans may be intended, among others for the implementation of investments in agricultural holdings, special departments of agricultural production, processing of agricultural products, processing of fish, crustaceans and molluscs and inland fishery, including the purchase of agricultural land, buildings as well as machinery and equipment used for agricultural production.

Loans to farmers are provided by: Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczości SA and SGB-Bank SA, as well as the associated Cooperative Banks and banks: BGŻ BNP Paribas SA, Krakow Bank Spółdzielczy, PEKAO SA, and Santander Bank Polska SA. Detailed terms and conditions for granting loans are available on the ARiMR website: www.arimr.gov.pl

landschap met graan

Decreasing number of farms

According to the Central Statistical Office, the number of farms in general is decreasing, there are also fewer small farms, only the number of farms larger than 20 ha was growing in the last years. The numbers of farms larger than 50 ha grew with almost one third compared to 2010. In 2010 there were 1,509,100 farms, whereas in 2017 only 93.1% remained, totaling 1,405,700 farms. Overview of Polish farm numbers:

Farm size

Numbers

% compared to 2010

up to 1 ha

20,500

82,5%

1,01-1,99 ha

263,000

87,5%

2.00-2.99 ha

190,100

89,1%

3.00-4.99 ha

259,400

93,8%

5.00-9.99 ha

316,000

91,2%

10.00-14.99 ha

142,400

94,0%

15.00-19.99 ha

70,400

97,7%

20.00 - 49.99 ha

108,300

111,6%

50 ha and more

35,400

131,0%