Since Poland’s accession to the European Union, exports of Polish agri-food products have been systematically growing, achieving a new record size each year. In 2017, food worth EUR 27.3 billion was exported. In comparison with 2016, this means an increase of 12%.
In the current year, trade data indicates that one can expect a further increase in export. According to the forecasts of the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Food Economy - National Research Institute in 2018, the proceeds from export may increase to EUR 28.8 billion. This is a result over 5% higher than in 2017 and 5.5 times higher than in the year of Poland’s accession to the EU. The favorable economic situation on the markets of Poland’s main trading partners and the improvement of the competitiveness of Polish products intended for export contribute to the growth of export. It is also worth emphasizing the growing positive trade balance, which in 2017 amounted to EUR 8.4 billion (a 19% increase compared to 2016). In 2018, the turnover surplus may increase to EUR 9.6 billion.
Poland is a significant food exporter, as compared to other EU countries - it ranks 7th in terms of export volumes, behind the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium, being ahead of Great Britain. Taking into account the balance of foreign trade in agri-food products, Poland ranks third in the EU.
The structure of Polish export is dominated by (according to data for 2017): dairy products, meat and poultry offal, fish and preserves, bread, beef, chocolate products, meat preparations, pork, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and wheat. Significant income was also obtained from the export of cigarettes.
The main trading partner of Poland are EU countries, mainly Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic. The share of export to EU countries, as in 2016, amounted to 81%. However, trade data indicates that Polish exporters are increasingly exporting to third country markets. The directions of CIS countries (increase in the value of export in 2017 by 10% in comparison to the previous year) and the USA (increase by 40% in relation to data for 2016) are still dominant here. It is also worth noting the growing export of Polish food to the UAE, Israel, Turkey, South Korea, Vietnam or Kenya.
The greatest opportunities for the development of Polish agri-food export are offered by Asian and African countries as well as countries of the Middle East and North America. Among the most attractive destinations are the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf countries, China, India, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Mexico, the United States, Canada, Kazakhstan, Egypt, South Africa and Belarus.
Polish food is a very attractive product with high export potential, as evidenced by the above trade data. However, this potential is still not fully used. Polish food is too little known, especially in more distant markets where there is strong competition from global brands. It is difficult for Polish exporters to build a position on such markets, especially if the companies do not have large funds that could be used for promotion and marketing activities. For this reason, the activities of the Polish administration are very much needed, creating a positive image of Polish food, building a „Polish brand” in the world and supporting the development of trade with foreign countries. The National Center for Agricultural Support, as part of its statutory activities, undertakes this role by carrying out pro-export activities on foreign markets under the common slogan „Poland tastes good”. To this end, it organizes economic missions for Polish entrepreneurs, joint exhibition stands at major foreign agri-food fairs, incoming missions for foreign importers and journalists, mediates in establishing business contacts, and also conducts information activities for Polish entrepreneurs aimed at disseminating knowledge about conditions of doing business on foreign markets.
National Support Center for Agriculture