POLAND: Polish importer foresees its future in sustainable bananas

by Heather Goulooze, Fresh Plaza


Poland is the 6th largest country, in terms of population, in the European Union. The country’s young capital economy, of 26 years, has encouraged foreign investments following government’s open door policy. Today, the Polish retail market is dominated by well known global chains, operating in one of the most competitive markets in the world. Retail trade distribution is also the core business of Polish banana importer Quiza.


General Manager, Bartosz Szatkowski, believes that the fact that Quiza is involved in the full supply chain from production until distribution, has helped the company to expand during the challenging period of the polish retail market conversion from traditional to concentrated trade.


Quiza has a dedicated private label banana production in Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala which is then delivered directly to its own distribution center in the Baltic port of Gdynia, where the company is also involved in logistics, processing (ripening) and distribution. The company supplies 15% of the Polish banana market and has created a stable client portfolio by dealing directly with retailers. The company also expands its international trade supplying customers in many European countries.


Today, the European banana market is created and determined by concentrated retail.


“Whoever did not understand this or did not follow this trend is now out of  business. We observe a common fact that supermarkets expect comfort. The modern supermarket supplier needs to be a strong operator with crystal clear reputation, many years experience, financial power to provide regular supply based on payment terms together with best quality product and volume potential, in order to be able to fulfill the strict requirements of European consumers. We, at Quiza have followed the path of new market trends. Carefully listening to our customers and understanding market requirements we have built an unpararel company offering full, complex supply chain of private label bananas.” states Mr. Szatkowski.


On Central European markets, price is still the ultimate factor determining sales.
Poland is a price oriented country and niche exotic fruits like red bananas, babies or even organic bananas must be treated as a luxury item. The product itself and low volume logistics are very expensive. Only a few shops in Poland’s largest cities offer organic products, which Quiza feels limits them to create a cost effective direct supply chain of bio bananas from South America. However, the company sees a bright future for its own operations in the segment of sustainable products offering own label bananas certified with GlobalGAP and Rainforest Alliance already today.


“We foresee a future in sustainable products and we would like Quiza to be a pioneer of fruit innovations on the Polish and Central European market.”  explains Mr. Szatkowski.


Along with many other countries around the world, Poland has also been affected by an ever fluctuating currency.


“2015 has been a very challenging year for the whole European banana import industry. Turbulence on the financial Market has affected the Euro/Dollar exchange rate. EU member states outside of the EURO zone suffered from unexpected value decrease of domestic currencies’ against EUR and USD.” states Mr. Szatkowski
Polish Zloty is constantly floating on the exchange rate table, following peeks and valleys of the international financial markets.


“We have experienced a 30% drop in value of the Polish Zloty against the US dollar over the last two years. As an importer and distributor of third country origin products, like exotic fruits, we are fully dependent on currency exchange rate levels. We can do incredible, innovative projects offering our customers best quality sustainable products, reliable just in time logistics, optimized cost structure, but we may not forget about potential dangers from surrounding world of finances.” concludes Mr. Szatkowski


Source: Fresh Plaza

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