KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — Poland, one of the leading producers of apples in the world and the largest in Europe is targeting to penetrate the Malaysian market as part of its new focus on this part of the region.

The Secretary-General of the Association of Polish Fruit and Vegetables Distributors, Paulina Kopec said that Poland is now looking for new markets after being unable to export to two of its major traditional markets — Russia and Belarus due to sanctions imposed on the two countries in relations to the war in Ukraine.

“We aim to discover and study the Malaysian market... we know apple is a favourite fruit among many Malaysians,” she told Bernama in an interview at the product launching, here, Thursday night.

She is here with a delegation of six people from Fruit Union (Unia Owocowa) — the largest Polish fruit association representing producer groups and their producers, exporters and distributors of fruit, for a five-day visit for product launching in Malaysia.

The theme of their apple campaign is “Fresh from the orchards of Poland. Apples from the heart of Europe in Malaysia”.

Kopec explained that among Malaysia’s current apple import countries are New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and United States.

“We too would like to have a slice of the Malaysian apple market. If successful in our product campaign we hope to send the first shipment to Malaysia by October or November. For the start we are looking into shipments of some 3,000 tonnes of apples. If this materialises, it will be a good start,” she further said.

Replying to a question, Kopec said the association is already talking to Malaysian fruit importers on the possibility of starting exporting apples to Malaysia as soon as possible.

There are 30 brands of apples being produced in Poland such as Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Red Chief, Red Jonaprince and Najdared.

According to statistics, one third of apples planted in the European Union (EU) are from Poland. Poland exported more than 922,000 tonnes of apples in 2021.

The apple harvest in the EU member countries in 2021 is estimated to be 11.7 million tonnes.

Currently Egypt is Poland apples largest market. Other markets include Israel, India, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

To another question, Kopec said besides Malaysia, they are also focusing on new markets in the region namely Thailand and Indonesia and even the African continent.

“Besides apples, we are also focusing on the possibility of exporting berries to Malaysia such as blue berries and strawberries,” she said.

Kopec pointed out that apples in Poland are produced in accordance with the principles of sustainable agriculture and the European Green Deal as well as guaranteed quality confirmed by appropriate standards (including GLOBAL G. A. P) and certificates.

“Polish apples are considered to be exceptional because of the unique climate which prevails in our country as well as the suitable soil and cultivation technology,” she said. — Bernama