Poland, brief agricultural news week 34, 2019

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

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New legislation on Food Waste in Poland

Poland has a new legislation regarding food waste that oblige shops to provide unsold food for charity free of charge. According to this new legislation, stores over 250 square meters, of which half or most of their revenues come from the sale of food, will have to enter into agreements with non-governmental organizations for the free transfer of unsold food. Food vendors will also have to run educational and information campaigns in stores targeted at consumers about rational food management. The new legislation foresees financial sanctions for food sellers who, despite the mechanisms for the transfer of unsold food products free of charge, will generate significant amounts of 'food waste'. Sellers will pay 10 groszy for 1 kg of food thrown away.
Source: PAP

Good times for blue berry in Poland for few years more

In this sector no one is complaining about prices. However this year for the first time Polish blue berry felt price pressure. The problem occured at the end of June, when- due to weather conditions- many varieties of blue berry was ready for consumption at the same time. The situation stayed inconvenient only for short time, but the reason for that was not too big production as it is usually the case in Poland but frosts in the beginning of the year and rapid change of the weather right after. Drought is not a big problem for this type of production as many berry fields are watered anyway.

There are no official statistics of blue berry in Poland but producers talking about around 20-30 thousand tonnes annually. According to many of them this will lead to a overproduction in the coming few years. The reason that this didn’t happened yet is that blue berry gives first yield after three years from planting and full yield after 7 years. Therefore it is not possible to switch to this production immediately.

Source: Puls Biznesu

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New measure dedicated to individual farmers AgroEnergy

The National Environmental Fund in Poland has announced the new measure for individual farmers called AgroEnergy (owners of land up to 300 ha and inhabitants of a commune for at least 5 years). The eligible projects in this measure regard construction of new generating energy units together with their connection to the distribution/transmission network, in which the energy is produced from renewable sources, from waste heat, or from heat from cogeneration.  Eligible projects also involve construction, extension, or modernization of production installation or equipment, leading to a reduction in the consumption of primary raw materials, for example, by replacing them with secondary raw materials, waste or leading to a reduction in the amount of generated waste such as: waste-free technologies,  saving-water technologies, technologies using by-products and waste, technologies for producing alternative fuels and substrates generated from waste, modernization of water demineralization and decarbonization stations. Individual farmers can apply until 10 of December 2019, financial support will be granted in the form of a returnable or non-returnable loan.  For more information have a look here: http://www.nfosigw.gov.pl/oferta-finansowania/srodki-krajowe/programy-priorytetowe/agroenergia/nab/

Source: NFOŚiGW

Increasing shopping awareness of Poles

Although most Poles pay attention to prices and promotions in their everyday shopping, they don't want to buy just anything. They make conscious choices more and more often, even if the producers themselves do not always make it easier. Almost half of the participants in a recent survey, prepared by Inquiry research agency and ITBC Communication, believe that manufacturers care the most about the lowest price, not the quality of ingredients. Lack of the trust in producers results from the growing consumer awareness in Poland. Every participant in the survey claims to pay attention to information about food products. Poles check packaging, read product labels, reach for information available in stores, as well as those in the media, including the Internet, where new dietary fashions and new "black sheeps" appear every now and then. Once, such a "black sheep" was butter, and lately it has been food additives, including preservatives. According to the survey, the most important information about a product is considered to be its composition, analyzed primarily in terms of additives  (90% of survey respondents check whether a product contains any additives). Almost as important is the health-promoting effect of product (e.g. its help in reducing blood pressure or bad cholesterol) and the associated nutrient content. Also the group of hyper-conscious consumers who no longer eat, but " eat functionally" is increasing in Poland. The survey report also confirms the trend of interest in domestic food producers,  half of the respondents even pay attention to the region of Poland where the products come from. Some of the companies already use this trend in marketing, promoting, advertising. Over three quarters of consumers also appreciate the traditional way of food production, which  helps small craft companies, including bakeries, breweries and ice cream parlors.

The need for knowledge among consumers is a challenge but also an opportunity for food producers,  an opportunity for those who provide reliable information about their products. Its absence has caused in recent years a wave of criticism of everything that is not natural and not quite a true division into bad (because it is artificial) and good (because it is natural).

Source: Rzeczpospolita