05 Jan 2021

POLAND: HOW COVID-19 BECAME AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE BERRIES

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The pandemic has generated additional demand for berries in Poland. Production increased by 10%, sales of NFC(not from concentrate) juices and frozen food also increased. Polish producers showed that they were able to adapt to conditions and exploit new promotional opportunities. They helped during the most dramatic phases of the pandemic, supported gastronomy and invited to the plantations when people needed them. Berry processors showed their offer.

The measure of the success of the 'Time for Polish Superfruits' campaign is the increasing extent of cooperation between growers and processors. Despite the limitations, more people were involved in promotional activities than in previous years. Reports on the events and the value of the fruit were shared in large numbers, reaching 7 million people on social media alone. More than 50 videos were produced and 1,250 newspapers helped promote consumption.

Looking at individual species: the strawberry won the title of favourite fruit of Poles and blueberry the best in the opinion of Polish nutritionists. June was dominated by the Kamchatka berry (blueberry Siberian) and August was the aronia. Gooseberries, currants and minikiwi marked their culinary appeal and raspberries were promoted in a less conventional way, with yellow varieties being presented. In 2020, preserves were promoted for the first time. Producers have shown that superfruits boost immunity and that we can share them.

Summary

"SUPERFRUITS FOR HEROES

The campaign to support hospital staff has become a wonderful showcase for the blueberries community. 4500 pieces of canned goods were collected, weighing 2400 kg. Half was distributed by the Student Volunteer Centre of the Medical University of Warsaw to many hospitals in Masovia. The other half went to the medical staff of the COVID-19 departments in Bergamo and Turin.

SOLIDARITY FOR ITALY

"The gift is of great value to us. A huge thank you goes to the Polish farmers. We are thrilled that they thought of us during this terrible time. Your gesture will always be in our hearts. It makes us think of all Poles! Thank you! - said Dr Antonio Scarmozzino, Director of the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino.

Information about the action was published in 15 countries. Many thanks were received from the Polish Embassy in Rome. The action showed solidarity and good organization. We are with YOU means "We are with you." The message spread around the world: they joined forces and collected what is most valuable in the pre-harvest: Polish seasonal fruit preserves. Juices, preserves, jams of aronia, blueberry, haskap berries, currants, raspberries, gooseberries, mini-kiwi, blackberries and strawberries, which because of their antioxidant content are called superfruits.

THE FAVOURITE FRUIT OF THE POLES

Strawberries have opened the season for the Polish super fruit. Their status has been demonstrated by this year's results of the 'National Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Survey' conducted by the research company Kantar. Today, strawberries are the favourite fruit of Poles, the most eagerly awaited and most popular seasonal fruit.

The research shows that Poles look forward to no other seasonal product as much as strawberries. Two thirds of respondents (65%) mentioned them first. Eating them is a great pleasure and a health boost for the whole body. There is also a growing awareness that they have more vitamin C than citrus fruits and that they support our immunity.

The valuable fruit presentations were an opportunity to show the traditions and transformation of the sector. Myths about tunnel growing were dispelled by the media at Maruszewski Farm and OVOC Farm in Wielkopolska. Together, they created a great promotion of the growers' skills and the quality of Polish strawberries and raspberries grown in tunnels. Today we can eat Polish strawberries or raspberries until late autumn.

CHEFS AND RESTAURATEURS

For the first time on such a large scale, growers collaborated with gastronomy. In spring they showed the wide range of uses for red fruit in traditional and more modern dishes. The whole menu, from starters to main courses of meat and fish, to dessert. Different combinations of flavours and the fact that fruit should not just be a decorative element can be part of a dish.

The idea of implementing the entire menu based on red berries came from Mikołaj Rey, culinary expert and winner of the special edition of MasterChef "The Best" . The implementation was assisted by the chefs of the Olenderskie Smaki restaurant in Olandia in Greater Poland.


Pyszna Polska 2017

YOU CAN DO WONDERS WITH POLISH RED FRUITS. WE HAVE GREAT PRODUCERS AND PROCESSORS, GREAT CHEFS AND MANY PLACES TO VISIT. THEY ARE WAITING FOR US TO DISCOVER OUR CULINARY TRADITIONS TOGETHER. I CRY FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, IT'S TIME FOR THE POLISH SUPER FRUIT! 

Mikołaj Rey, winner of the special edition of MasterChef Poland

COUNTRYSIDE VISITS

The month of June was dedicated to the Kamchatka berry (blueberry Siberian). 26 plantations across Poland opened their doors during the harvest on two occasions: the first on 13-14 June and the second on 20-21 June. Growers were given the opportunity to come in and see what the plantation looks like, buy fruit and preserves and pick the fruit themselves.

We offered time outdoors and the opportunity to show the children how berries are grown. For many, it was the first visit to a plantation in their lives and the opportunity to try picking the fruit themselves. - says Andrzej Krupiński, president of the Kamchatka Berry Growers Association.

1 JULY: DAY OF THE POLISH BLUEBERRIES

For years, 1 July has been the symbolic start of the blueberries harvest. According to tradition, the first tasting was done by the youngest member of the blueberries community. This year it was a family celebration. The season was opened by Mikołaj Wichłacz from Dobrzany in the Stargardzkie district of West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The opening of the season was accompanied by words of thanks and respect for the people who work in the collection and care of the shrubs all year round.

On the occasion of the fruit festival and the start of the harvest season at blueberries a press conference was held by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the National Union of Fruit and Vegetable Producers' Groups. The meeting was attended by representatives of industrial organisations and berry growers who collaborated in the campaign. They showed fresh fruit and ideas for preparing berries. The media promoted the values of everyday consumption and cooperation, thanks to which we consumers can look forward to an offer: fresh, Polish, available until October, then canned and frozen.

IT IS WORTH TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH AND REACHING FOR POLISH SUPERFRUITS EVERY DAY. GRATITUDE FOR THE GROWERS SHOULD BE IN THE HEARTS OF ALL OF US. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR TAKING PROMOTIONS TO THE NEXT LEVEL. WE ARE NOT GOING TO ASK OURSELVES WHETHER STRAWBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, GOOSEBERRIES - WHICH OF THEM ARE MORE VALUABLE. THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL. IT IS REALLY VALUABLE TO PROMOTE THE WHOLE 'RELAY OF BLUEBERRIES' FROM MAY TO OCTOBER, AS WELL AS THE CANNED AND FROZEN PRODUCTS, THANKS TO WHICH WE CAN HAVE THESE WONDERFUL FRUITS ALL YEAR ROUND..

Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development...

THE FAVOURITE FRUIT OF POLISH NUTRITIONISTS

The title of "The best fruit in the world 2020 according to nutritionists" was won by blueberries. The plebiscite was organized by Dietetycy.org.pl, Poland's largest portal for dietitians and people interested in healthy eating. Forty-eight species competed in 6 stages. The survey leaders were strawberries, raspberries, currants, blackberries, gooseberries, and aronia. The blueberries won the title for its wealth of health-promoting ingredients that protect and boost immunity. The award ceremony was held at the Beata and Kazimierz Wasiak plantation in Jastrzębia Stara, Grójec poviat.

"Polish berries are second to none in terms of nutritional value. Local, fresh, aromatic, delicious, they are a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals and, above all, active compounds such as polyphenols. The substances contained in these superfruits have a scientifically documented beneficial effect on health. By regularly consuming berries, we have a preventive effect on our diet. We are investing in our own health and that of our loved ones in the best possible way. I am very happy that producers are cooperating on this scale, that everyone is trying to act for the common good, which is consumer education and promotion of what is ours, Polish" - said Dr Justyna Bylinowska, editor-in-chief of Dietetycy.org.pl.

EYE FOR RASPBERRIES

The 'Eye on raspberry' action is the result of a collaboration between Pracownia OKO and raspberry growers. Growers and artists from Lublin invited for a unique lesson in drawing, raspberry knowledge and awareness training all in one. The balance of the first joint project is almost 300 people drawing live and over 8,700 views of the tutorial in the first 24 hours and almost 12,000. by next week.

"The berries sector is consolidating and joining forces. Our message is optimistic, we are showing our compatriots that we are living in the trend of blueberry. Sales are growing worldwide and, above all, these fruits are very characteristic of our climate. The awareness lesson meets the needs of the modern consumer, but it also refreshes our thinking about promotion," commented Dr. Paweł Krawiec, raspberry grower and berry promoter.

THE FIRST BLUEBERRIES

Thefirst harvests of blueberries took place in Mazovia, in the plantation of blueberries B&K Wasiak in Jastrzębia Stara in Grójec poviat and in the Agro-Berry plantation of Klaudia and Łukasz Kurlapski in Pustkowa Góra, Zgierz poviat, Łódź voivodship.

Everyone can see how blueberries grows and feel proud to be Polish, local, close to the heart of the growers. More than 2,000 people have expressed interest in such an offer. people who claim to come from practically every major agglomeration. Over the past year, demand has considerably exceeded supply. The organising experience will certainly pay off in organising similar meetings in the future.

FOR SUPER IMMUNITY

AFTER THE PERIOD OF BUYING PASTA AND FLOUR, WE STARTED BUYING CANNED AND FROZEN FOOD. IT IS TIME TO RETHINK AND UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTAL ROLE OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IN OUR DIET. WE OFTEN HEAR THAT THEY ARE VERY HEALTHY, THEY ARE THE BASIS OF THE DIET, BUT WE NEED TO TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER. WITHOUT THEM, WE ARE TOO WEAK TO COPE WITH MANY SITUATIONS. IT IS WORTH REMEMBERING WHEN YOU GO SHOPPING 

Prof. Iwona Wawer zawiesiła udział w Zespole Ekspertów - Nagroda Profesorów Farmacji
Prof. Iwona Wawer (Medical University of Warsaw)

Throughout the year, other berries besides blueberries were presented and, in autumn, the value of canned and frozen foods. A series of materials and infographics were developed in collaboration with experts. They reached thousands of nutritionists, opinion leaders and consumers. Healthy eaters are more likely to fight disease. In times of pandemic, what is known and available proves to be a defensive shield, encouraged doctors and nutritionists.

ARONIA: THE WORLD'S HEALTHIEST MEDICINE

Aronia growers have come up with a novel idea to keep a good streak going. This year they started by creating August as the month of the natural fight against hypertension. "We focus on anthocyanins. These fruits, in our climate, contain the most of them. It is worth remembering this and showing the fruit that a doctor could successfully prescribe. We have developed our ideas by promoting healthy gifts in companies, in health care and for Christmas in the autumn," says Piotr Nowak, aronia grower and processor of the National Aronia Growers Association "Aronia Polska". 

COMMUNICATION TRAINING

The year 2020 offered many opportunities to present processing and the best practices of its promotion. The turning point was the invitation to the joint project of the elite of Polish processors blueberries .

The project was implemented by 20 organisations. Participants learned how to make someone want to buy their products, how to be remembered and, most importantly, what to talk about and what not to talk about. The training took the form of workshops - on brand building, brand communication and presentation itself. It was led by Paweł Tkaczyk, a storytelling expert and TEDx speaker.

People who are building their own brand have participated in the project. "Intuitively we feel that we are selling emotions, health and relationships, not bottles. We are making juice or jam, but we are selling something more: quality of life, overcoming weakness, a sense of belonging, new opportunities associated with it. In the second half of the season, the stories of the participants in the project have become the pride of the industry."

"We reduced the plantation to the right amount that we were able to manage. We recommend this way of thinking, because the problem we have struggled with for years still exists. People are increasingly choosing healthy, natural, local and regional products. They are convinced of quality. As growers, we make sure that fruit in Poland is not wasted" - said Elżbieta and Andrzej Łaniak, Z Chaty Łaniaków.

SUMMARY

The berries are positioned as superfruits, extremely beneficial for health and beauty. The cooperating growers promote the idea of the 'relay of blueberries' and the benefits of daily consumption.

Consumption of strawberries and its preserves was reported by more than 86 percent of consumers, raspberries 80 percent, blueberries 71 percent, red and black currants 54 percent, blackberries 21 percent, aronia 20 percent and minikiwi 11 percent. The data were provided by the "National Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Survey" conducted by research firm Kantar.

The pandemic has generated additional demand for berries, their canned and frozen foods and juices. For example, the consumption of blueberries outside the Polish harvest season has already reached 17%. In winter, 2% of consumers eat blueberries 4-5 times a week, another 6% eat blueberries 2-3 times a week (February 2020).

According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the harvest of fruit from bush and berry plantations in 2020 is estimated at more than 0.5 million tonnes, or 10% more than the 2019 harvest.

The spring drought and numerous frosts that lasted until the end of May led to a reduced harvest. Despite losses on many plantations, often at a level of several tens of percent, the entire industry sold more fruit than in 2019. It is frightening to think what will happen when a really good year, a classic harvest, arrives. The big plantations will break their records and the new ones will fruit completely.

CHALLENGES

The success of producers is always measured by their ability to plan supply and create demand. It is worth assuming that 2020 was not a bad year, as the weather corrected supply and the pandemic created additional demand.

It is worth highlighting the messages that create daily consumption. Many simple recipes are needed that require use and create the habit of buying berries. Promoting the attributes of cultivation and transport, i.e. everything that builds quality from field to plate. Price should be an important aspect of communication. It involves many decisions and investments to reduce the risk and the final price of the fruit. Another area is the need to strengthen the image of growers as employers. The shortcomings in this area were hit hard by the sector at the beginning of the 2020 season.

Post-pandemic times call for more intensive consolidation and modernisation efforts. In an increasingly fragmented world, it will be more and more difficult to build a community. The world will no longer be local, which will make it increasingly difficult to be less organised. Regardless of whether they focus on developing modern or direct, fixed or online channels.

WE HAVE INTEGRATED THE SECTOR AND SHOWN THAT BEHIND EVERY FRUIT THERE IS A HUMAN BEING. WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN THINK ABOUT CREATING THE EATING HABITS OF POLES. WE WANT TO TAKE MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE AMOUNT OF FRUIT WE EAT.,

Witold Boguta, President of the National Association of Fruit and Vegetable Growers

The year 2021 has been declared the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables. This is a great opportunity to implement the vision of the place of superfruits in the daily lives of Poles even more effectively. It creates attitudes and habits. The whole sector should unite around this objective opportunity.


"It's time for Polish superfruits! 2020" is a joint project of industry organisations and producer groups. The campaign is implemented by the National Association of Fruit and Vegetable Growers in cooperation with 7 industry organisations. The partners are the American Blueberry Growers Association SPBA, the Strawberry Growers Association, the Kamchatka Berry Growers Association, the Polish Association of Currant Growers, the National Association of Aronia Growers POLSKA, the Mini Kiwi Growers Association. The main partner is the Polish Blueberry Promotion Foundation.

The campaign promotes cooperation and the involvement of growers in creating demand. The concept of Polish superfruits means that they belong to products exceptionally rich in ingredients beneficial to our health and beauty, in the production and export of which we are one of the world leaders. The collaboration builds the habit of consuming a cup of Polish superfruits every day during the season in Poland, i.e. from May to October. In the off-season, the growers jointly promote canned and frozen foods.

The study was financed by the Fund for the Promotion of Fruit and Vegetables as part of the implementation of the campaign "It's time for the Polish super fruit!". of the National Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers. The project is carried out under the honorary patronage of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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