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Raspberry producers talk about a disaster. “It’s not worth tearing it up, it’s better to go to some other job”

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Raspberry producers talk about the “catastrophe”. Previously, we bought as much frozen food from Ukraine as half of our annual production. Will tons of fresh fruit just go to waste in Poland now?

All over the country, growers have the same problem. – It doesn’t pay to tear it up, it’s better to go to some other job, somewhere full-time, than spend time in these raspberries, because for these 5 zlotys it is completely at cost – Marceli Duda, a raspberry grower from Ożarów, assures.

Growers get five, sometimes four zlotys per kilogram of raspberries in the purchase. The price does not cover the costs of production, fertilizers, plantation maintenance, it does not even cover the costs of harvesting and transport. – Purchase offers us a very low price this year. In fact, the price we paid last year to our people who pick raspberries – indicates Karolina Szymczyk from “Raspberries from Piotr and Karolina”.

What is happening is not the result of the “failure of crops” known from the times of communism – it is the result of the policy pursued. Growers and trade unions warned that this would happen because – as in the case of cereals – producers were hit by the opening of borders for fruit from Ukraine. – We produce in Poland about 70,000 tons of frozen raspberries per year, throughout the season. On the other hand, we imported about 40,000 tons of raspberries from Ukraine – explains Mirosław Maliszewski, president of the Association of Polish Fruit Growers.

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President of the Polish Fruit Growers Association on the import of raspberriesTVN24

Many unknowns

Raspberries were imported by Polish companies and Polish processing plants. They did it because the goods were cheaper. Polish is more expensive, because it has to be, because the costs of labour, energy and fertilizers are rising. In Poland, plant protection products are also used – in accordance with the directives – other than in Ukraine.

Growers ask – how is it possible that when you have to pay so much for a small box of raspberries at the bazaar or in the store, they are close to bankruptcy? At the protests, they also recall the words of people in power. Planters lose what was the meaning of their lives, they lose property and hope – and PiS deputies – such as MP Choma, whom Michał Kołodziejczak asked to go to talks with the authorities of the processing plant – they only explain to the protesters that they can’t do much. – He was booed. In fact, he left in disgrace, and first he tried to present the situation that is happening on the market as a normal, free-market situation – says Michał Kołodziejczak, Social Movement “AGROunia TAK”.

The head of AGROunia asked the Minister of Agriculture for an interview. The minister himself explained that he knew the problem. – One of the state-owned companies is currently working on launching a purchase of raspberries in the near future, provided Robert Telus. How much, from whom and on what terms? This is not known. On Thursday, the ministry is to hold further talks with growers and processing plants.

Main photo source: TVN facts

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