"We have always exported our apples to Russia. Now prices have fallen by more than 50%. Affect the business and the business pays. Russia is building a pipeline to Germany, and we are paying the price. It's not fair," explained the owner of the industrial garden Agnieszka Jaworska.
Before the introduction of restrictions Poland supplied to the Russian market 700 thousand tons of 1.2 million tons of apples exported. Between 2014 and 2015, supply declined by 19%. To compensate for the loss of the largest importer, the Polish authorities tried to attract consumers with the campaign "Eat apples to annoy Putin."
Last year, Polish gardeners collected 4.5 million tons of fruit, setting a new record. Of these, 80% falls on apples. Poland is the largest producer of apples in the EU, so the result of crop growth is inevitably a decline in prices. The government proposed to withdraw 500 thousand tons of apples from the market at a fixed price to ease the situation, but the long-term plan focuses on improving the quality of products, the development of new processing products and the production of cider.
"The Russian market does not need Polish fruits, they can be replaced with products from other countries that cooperate with the Russian government," said Vladimir Kashin, Chairman of the state Duma Committee on agricultural issues.
At the moment, Poland is looking for alternative markets for its fruits, in particular China, the Middle East and North Africa.