I never knew, the Apples have to go thru all this before I came to Poland….I thought it was very simple, Apples from trees come to the market and no science involved…..but it is really scientific and an eye opener.
We were a group of Media professionals and fresh fruit distributors in Dubai, invited by the Association of Polish fruit & Vegetable distributors to visit Poland and see how the Apples are grown, produced, treated and then exported for consumption and it was a wonderful experience and a great learning… A full video about the trip can be seen at https://youtu.be/2l_ibo4M7xg
We stayed at the beautiful Sofitel Warsaw Victoria hotel, very central, close to the old town. I loved taking a stroll into the old town whenever I got an opportunity!
The morning started with us going to the ministry of Agriculture where they gave us a presentation on Apples from Europe and their efforts in this regard.
Did you know that Fruit exports from Poland to the UAE market in 2018 was 3548 thousand tons and reached EUR 1.1 Billion with a 8% y/y growth. These pics will indicate a few more details on the same:-
We had lunch at the Ministry and were then taken on a Warsaw city tour, we visited the Royal Bath, Town Center and Old town before being taken over to a Royal Palace for Dinner. The ambience was awesome and the food was just great, obviously with loads of apples being used in the food ?
The next morning, we had a long day, we met a lot of distributors who explained us what they were doing with their crop and their plans of exporting Apples to the UAE and other markets. We then visited the Orchards where the Apples are grown, the owners explained us about the flowering process to the measures taken in harvesting the Apples. We saw the Apples being handpicked. They told us that they do not use any wax and everything is under a very controlled atmosphere so that the final fruit turns out to be a healthy one. Plant based pesticides are being used which are safe for humans. To top it all, we had a great lunch at the Orchard which we really enjoyed.
We then visited production facilities where the Apples are received from the growers, sorted as per their color and type, washed and then sorted in the storage rooms. We visited the storage rooms where the air is Ozonated and with controlled temperature, the apples can stay fresh even for 1 year. The manager told us that they create conditions that as if the Apple is sleeping in deep sleep and nothing happens. Everything is automated and Robots do most of the work. The evening dinner was again in a Palace, we loved the ambience and food with loads of Apples!
The next morning, we visited the testing facility for a great learning experience. We were shown how the inspectors check every lot before issuing a Phytosanitary certificate to all Apples before they are sent for consumption. This is a mandatory certificate and the rules are very strict. The Manager even showed us how the tests were carried out, including Molecular tests, Soil tests, DNA tests and so on. The owner of the Orchards can get their soil or products tested for quality also and very high standards are maintained.
We then visited the Life Sciences university and were told about the experiments going on in this industry and how students can learn the tricks of the trade and get their degree courses from the university. The university has their own orchard and other facilities for experiments and testing.
This was an amazing experience and a great leaning for all of us. Next time when I am in Dubai, I am certainly going to look for wax free Polish Apples which are free from pesticides and very healthy.
Experienced and written by :-
Raj Bhatt, Founder and CEO, Hozpitality Group, Middle East, India and Canada.