2017 was another record-breaking year for Polish food manufacturers. The export value of domestic foodstuffs exceeded EUR 27 billion, which clearly shows they have been appreciated on international markets. The recipients of Polish food already includes more than 70 countries worldwide, although our main trade partners are the states of the European Union (above 81% of exports), including Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.
Food exports have already reached a 13% share in the entire Polish foreign exchange, clearly evidencing the quality and reputation of Polish products. This makes us particularly happy, given that the requirements for foodstuffs are increasing, the products have to meet increasingly stringent standards and undergo complex certification processes.
This is what we can all be proud of, as it evidences the development of the food industry in our country which has made investments in the recent years in order to be able to compete efficiently on international markets. We still have the potential and we can expand the exchange with other countries, particularly with the developing ones, especially that Polish food fits in perfectly with worldwide trends promoting healthy and ecological products coming from sustainable production.
Our advantages are not limited to the healthy natural environment and good soils; they also include integrated agri-food production and attractive prices. They allow us to acquire new outlets on all continents. Sales of Polish products to African and South American countries as well as to Australia are rising year by year. Other very promising directions are the Middle Eastern and Far Eastern countries.
The value of Polish food exports, and particularly their structure, is also affected by trends on global markets, yet manufacturers not only attempt to benefit from the existing demand for a given product but to create demand for Polish goods. Thus, a great opportunity, especially for small producers offering regional, niche products, is provided by trade fair events and economic missions, enabling them to present their goods and reach new customer groups.
The high competitiveness of the Polish agri-food industry is also evidenced by its numerous international success. For many years, the showcase of our country have included excellent-quality apples, poultry, fish, beef, cereal products, milk preparations, sweets, vegetables and fruit. Few will probably change in this regard in the years to come, but Poland will endeavour to make the advantages of these products known not just by their hitherto recipients, i.e. mainly the EU countries, but on the global markets as well. Many Polish manufacturers of the food sector are already planning reinforcement of their position on foreign markets – not just through acquisition of new distribution channels but through investment as well. Therefore, we hope that Polish exports of food products will grow at an even faster rate than in the previous years.
President of the Polish Organization of Trade and Distribution