China is the largest recipient of Polish dairy products outside the European Union

– The potential is huge, but it requires constant, consistent and well-organized promotion – says Irenos Özga, President of Vici Group specializing in food exports. Whenever the competition is huge and very effective, we already have at least some examples of unused opportunities in recent years.

China is a country that currently has perhaps the largest middle class in the world, and is well versed in global consumer trends. In the case of food, Poland stands a very good chance due to the fact that the Chinese love European food very much and appreciate it for its quality – says Ireneus Ozga, news agency Newseria Biznes. – In recent years, we have been able to develop a perception and knowledge of Polish dairy products. Polish milk is already a well-known product, but it certainly has great potential in the remaining dairy products.

According to the Polish-Chinese Business Council, China is among the three largest milk producers in the world, but domestic production is unable to meet the growing demand for dairy products. Additionally, consumer confidence there is limited in the local dairy industry, where safety incidents have been reported frequently in the past decade. European products are treated as first-class products and Poland benefits from them.

In the past five years, Asia has been one of the fastest growing trends in Polish exports of dairy products. In 2016-2020, foreign sales in this product group almost doubled. According to the Polish Federation of Livestock and Milk Producers, on the basis of preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance, from January to August 2021, the value of Polish dairy exports amounted to about 1.76 billion euros, or 8 billion PLN, and it was 8 percent. higher compared to the same period last year. EU countries have the largest share in the Polish dairy group, and China is the country outside the EU (5% of the value, about 92 million euros). However, this is still insignificant compared to the size of the Chinese market, which has gone from an export model to a consumption model for several years.

– Polish food exports to China account for less than 1 percent. Imported food there. Countries such as New Zealand, Japan, the United States, and Germany export more food to China in total than the value of the entire Polish market. The potential is huge, traditional retail chains are booming in China, and the online commerce market is hugely developed – says the head of the Vici Group.

To achieve success in the Chinese market, two components are needed – the first is a careful selection of products. It is necessary to determine the categories in which Polish producers are able to produce sufficient quantities of food of a quality and form corresponding to the Chinese consumer, meeting local phytosanitary standards and suitable for transportation, which takes about two weeks in the case of railways, and a month and a half in the case of sea.

– You missed a chance with apples. We have made the introduction of Polish apples to the Chinese market, but in terms of supply, there were no apples of suitable standards in Poland. Our product was not ready for such a distant transport – confirms Irenos Özga.

It is also necessary to launch a coherent, well-organized and continuous campaign to promote Polish food as a brand. Individual examples from the past show that the potential is very high, but the lack of consistency or events such as avian influenza or ASF in the case of meat, for which the demand from China, itself affected by ASF, was too high, resulting in a bold failure.. cooperation.

China has very restrictive epidemiological and phytosanitary regulations. This can be seen in the case of pork. When fighting ASF, there is no chance that we will export meat to this market, which unfortunately has been taken over by other countries. It was similar to bird and poultry flu – states the head of the Vici group. – For example, Poland is a great producer of cookies that are exported all over the world, beer and many others, but today nothing but milk can be recognized from the Polish food of the Chinese consumer, although it is sold little.

An additional opportunity is provided to exporters by rail transportation as part of the New Silk Road, which reduces transportation times three times, and this is of great importance in the case of perishable products such as foodstuffs. According to China Railways, 8.2 thousand people traveled in 2019 from China to Europe. freight trains; They took European goods on the way back, incl. Polishing liquid and dried milk. In 2020, despite the epidemic, it was already 12.4 thousand. cruises, almost 50 percent more, and from the beginning of 2021 until mid-October, 11.3 thousand were carried out. Transportation. At this rate, by the end of the year there is a chance of about 14.3 thousand. shipments.

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– You have to remember that we operate in a competitive environment. In the case of Poland, our trade in China is supported by individuals, representatives of PAIH or other institutions. In Shanghai alone, in Germany there are 150 people who build public relations and relations there – explains Irenos Ozga. – They are a great example to follow, and the export of their food to China is several times greater than that of Poland. Building a Polish brand there takes years, consistency, and continuity.

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