A delegation of Polish agricultural officials has been in China pushing for apple market access.
Poland is the leading apple producer in Europe and has been investigating market access with China for some time, in a bid to relieve pressure on the sector since Russia closed its doors to European fresh produce imports.
Before the embargo was put in place in August, 2014, The Russian Federation absorbed the highest volumes of apples from Poland, which has been struggling to find alternative markets for the Idared variety ever since.
Approximately 700,000 metric tons (MT) were shipped to Russia annually.
China is on a list of priority countries in Poland’s economic promotion for 2016, and various exhibitions at agri-food events and trade fairs are planned for the rest of the year.
This week’s talks in Beijing, led by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Krzysztof Jurgiel, follows an inspection last fall when a team of experts from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) carried out an audit process.
They visited orchards, fruit storage facilities and spoke with producer associations and apple exporters.
“We hope for the support of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in relation to Polish efforts aimed at the smooth proceedings and rapid completion of the procedures for obtaining access and a resumption of exports, in particular fresh apples,” says Jurgiel.
“We hope to continue intensive dialogue with the Chinese in the field of agriculture at various levels.”
Chinese access for apples can’t come soon enough for many in the sector.