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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 30, 2010
Polish Food Products
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Polish Food Products
April 30, 2010   
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Under the guidelines of the Common Agricultural Policy established by the European Union, the Agricultural Market Agency (ARR) supports the promotion of farming produce.

To this end, the ARR oversees two mechanisms: support for promotional and educational activities on markets for selected agricultural products, and Initiative 133 involving educational and promotional activities under the Rural Development Program for 2007-2013. So far, associations of Polish producers have not utilized the funds available under these mechanisms to an extensive degree, mainly due to problems with obtaining funding for their own contribution to the costs. In 2009 the ARR’s tasks were expanded to include administration of Promotion Funds for selected agricultural products, which can serve as one source of such funding. The law on funds for promoting agricultural and food products, in force since July 1, 2009, established nine separate funds: for milk, pork, beef, horse meat, mutton/lamb, fowl, cereals and cereal products, fruit and vegetables, fish. The money from these funds is used, among other things, for running campaigns—including those co-financed from EU funds, supporting the competitiveness of Polish products, promoting consumption and informing the public of the quality and benefits of the products. Some of the funding is used to finance the participation of producers and processing companies in exhibitions, trade fairs and specialist training courses, market and scientific research as well as improving the quality of produce and processed foods.

Like most European countries, Poland treats countries in the Middle and Far East as exotic target markets that are difficult to access in terms of both psychology and logistics. Of course globalization changes not only the economy but also cultural and social relations around the world. It is worth noting that despite their cultural affinity, European countries are not a uniform group—for example Poland is a country that has always felt close to Eastern culture due to historical factors. Not everyone remembers that the Ottoman Empire was Poland’s neighbor for a long time, and this was a time of extensive exchange of ideas and culinary experiences. Thanks to the availability of exotic spices, Polish court cuisine, available to the wealthy classes of Poland of those times, was very similar to the present cuisine of countries in Southeast Asia.

In geographical terms, there is also a closeness to Asian countries felt by the average Pole, reflected by the fact that countries that in English are referred to as the Middle East, are known in Polish as the “Near East.” In terms of arts and culture, literature for example, references to the culture and politics of Asian countries are frequent.

Thanks to these existing historical links, Polish and Chinese entrepreneurs interested in bilateral business links should find it easier to start working together in foodstuffs trade.

It needs emphasizing that apart from this relative closeness—if you look from a European perspective—to the culture and customs of clients and partners in China, Poland and Polish producers can also offer what is valued most highly by consumers all over the world—the highest quality of foodstuffs, products that are made using the most advanced production technology, while subject to the strictest quality control procedures.

Polish vodka heads the list of products for which Polish foodstuffs producers are famous and which are starting to appear on the Chinese market, among other factors thanks to the World Expo 2010 and the SIAL China trade fair in Shanghai. The list of Polish products includes partially processed products (like pork, beef and fowl), processed products with a traditional flavor made using traditional recipes (like processed meats such as sausages and cold cuts, dairy products), and also highly processed goods (such as chocolate products and flavored spirits).

Taking advantage of the opportunity open to visitors to Expo 2010 and SIAL China, it is worth trying every product offered by Polish exhibitors and tasting the dishes served by the Polish restaurant in the Polish pavilion at the World Expo. Be sure to try foods from Poland—you are sure to love the flavors.
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