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The war in Ukraine has significantly impacted the flow of goods, creating an unforeseen challenge for the Polish market

FOOD & AGRICULTUREThe war in Ukraine has significantly impacted the flow of goods, creating an unforeseen challenge for the Polish market

As a result of the war, Ukraine’s transportation channels through the Black Sea for exports to North Africa and some countries in Asia were cut off. Naturally, Ukraine redirected its grain production to those countries that had lifted restrictions. Poland, being the closest, received the largest amount of grain from Ukraine. A similar situation occurred with frozen raspberries, which previously were exported in large quantities from Ukraine to the Russian market. Due to the conflict, this route was closed, and the raspberries were redirected to the very receptive Polish market, prepared with many cold storage facilities capable of storing frozen raspberries. Importers of grain and frozen raspberries, having the opportunity to import these products at very low costs, could not resist the temptation and made large purchases.

“Unfortunately, in 2022, with Poland’s consent, a complete liberalization of trade with Ukraine was introduced, meaning, in effect, that the borders were opened, quotas were eliminated, and tariffs were abolished,” said Mirosław Maliszewski, a member of the Polish Parliament, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, and President of the Polish Fruit Growers’ Association, to the service. “And for some products, especially those that Ukraine had no other markets for, like grain, Ukraine directed them to our market. And legally, unfortunately, though perhaps less ethically, many companies decided to take advantage of this. That’s why we have a colossal problem in both markets today. In the case of raspberries, we estimate that the stocks are so large that they could even suffice for the entire upcoming new season. This is obviously unethical, unfortunately – but it is in accordance with the regulations. So on one hand, these entities should be denounced – on the other hand, there are no penalties that could be imposed for such imports. Unfortunately, the stocks in the cold storages and grain silos are enormous,” analyzed Maliszewski.

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