KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — The export of Polish apples to Malaysia is set to increase this year, said the President of the Fruit Union Association, Piotr Janota.
Janota said that last year, when Polish apples were introduced for the first time in the Malaysian market, the Central European country exported around 200 tonnes of apples.
He explained that since Polish apples were introduced to the Malaysian market, the response has generally been very good. This year, many enquiries from fresh fruit importers have been received for the next harvesting season, which is in September/October.
However, he mentioned that Malaysian consumers have already had the opportunity to buy Polish apples, but only in a limited variety and at a few selected supermarkets.
“This year, we believe there will be an increase... possibly much larger. Our optimism is based on the encouraging enquiries we received from importers here,” he told Bernama in an interview during a recent promotional campaign.
Janota also mentioned that during the three-day Malaysian International Food & Beverage Trade Fair, the stand promoting apples from Poland was visited by several thousand people.
The campaign “Gift from the Polish Orchards” is co-financed by the European Union (EU).
“Once again, we met with representatives of the largest companies importing fresh fruit to Malaysia, and we focused on talks about deliveries of Polish apples for this year’s harvest. It is a very demanding market, but also one with great potential. Malaysians are eager to buy imported apples. We are glad that we managed to enter this market,” Janota said.
“They like the size, taste, and crunchiness, as from our studies, we found that Malaysians pay attention to texture, colours, and taste,” he added.
The Fruit Union Association is the largest association supporting Polish producers and distributors of fruit and vegetables. Polish apples are exported to Asia mainly by sea, usually transported in refrigerated containers to ensure they reach the recipients fresh.
Currently, the Polish apples being exported to Malaysia are of two varieties, namely Gala (mid-sized apples with smooth, slightly glossy, yellow and red peel, and sweet-tasting, delicate, and crunchy flesh) and Red Chief (mid-sized and large fruit with hard, glossy, crimson peel, and very fragrant, sweet, and crisp pulp, with a firm texture).
Janota mentioned that a website dedicated to the Malaysian public, www.bestapples.eu, has been created, where consumers can find information about Polish apples.
He said that the export capacity of Polish apples to Malaysia in a season is estimated to be 4,000 tonnes. Poland now diversifies its apple export markets following the loss of its Russian market. In the last season, Poland’s largest export market for apples was Egypt. Poland’s apple production is estimated to be around 4.2 million tonnes in 2022. The country is the third-largest exporter of apples after China and the United States.
Among the countries Malaysia currently imports apples from are France, Italy, New Zealand, the United States, China, and South Africa.
Meanwhile, Janusz Bilski, Consul of the Embassy of Poland, said that Malaysia, with its expanding consumer market and increasing interest in premium produce, presents an excellent opportunity for Polish apple producers to expand their reach.
“Both countries aim to foster sustainable trade relationships and promote a diverse range of quality fruit products to Malaysian consumers,” said Bilski. — Bernama