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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » March 1, 2013
Polska... tastes good!
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Promoting Polish Food in Berlin
March 1, 2013   
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This year’s Grüne Woche (Green Week) international agri-food fair in Berlin was an excellent opportunity to promote Polish food, primarily top-quality regional products.

The Grüne Woche fair held every January is a world-famous event promoting food and farming. Many food producers take advantage of the opportunity to check how the market will react to their new products.

The fair is not just more than 1,600 exhibitors from almost 60 countries and more than 400,000 visitors, but also around 300 conferences and seminars, panel discussions and workshops. The importance of this event is best evidenced by the presence of 87 agriculture ministers from all over the world at the latest fair.

“Nations unite through eating,” Germany’s federal minister of food and agriculture Ilse Aigner said when she met Stanisław Kalemba, the Polish minister of agriculture and rural development, at the Polish national stand. Kalemba said that, as far as agri-food products are concerned, Germany has been Poland’s main trading partner for many years.

“Last year sales of agri-food products to Germany exceeded 3 billion euros,” Kalemba said. “German consumers are the most interested in Polish poultry and dairy products, smoked fish, juice and other fruit products as well as baked goods and confectionery.”

As in previous years, the Polish presentation was held under the motto “Polska Schmeckt!” (Polska… Tastes Good). A number of companies showcased products with the Try Fine Food label. These included the following: Dega (maker of salads, fish products, canned goods etc.), OSM Skierniewice (dairy), Fanex (ketchup, mustard, dressings etc.), Vinkon (fruit wine, juices and other fruit products), Lazur (cheese), Orzech (fruit and vegetable processing), Jana Dairy Cooperative in Środa Wielkopolska, Makarony Polskie (pasta), OSM Czarnków (dairy), Danmis (goat’s milk products), Firma Bracia Urbanek (fruit and vegetable processing), OSM Koło (dairy), Amber Brewery, MIK Irena Jańczukowicz-Kosewska, Starco (dairy), OSM Łowicz (dairy), OSM Garwolin (dairy), OSM Top Tomyśl (dairy), OSM Grodzisk Mazowiecki (dairy), Mościbrody (meat products), WSP Społem (mayonnaise), Euro Trade, Wipasz (chicken meat), Maxtop (frozen foods), Miody Mazurskie (honey), Jacek Podgórniak (meat products), and ZPC Chylak (sweet baked goods).

The hit product of the Polish stand was caviar from Polish sturgeon. “To rebuild the population of this fish species, which lives naturally in the Baltic Sea, the most important thing is to implement the innovative research program being carried out as a Polish-German collaboration project,” said Poland’s deputy minister of agriculture, Kazimierz Plocke. “Few people know that Poland is a caviar producer. Each year we produce up to a few hundred tons of this delicacy, while the production of sturgeon in Poland is around 400 metric tons per year. In 2004, before Poland’s EU accession, this fish was becoming extinct. The sturgeon now unites Poland, Germany and Lithuania as they fight together to rebuild stocks.

Guests at the fair were also delighted with the flavor of traditional foodstuffs presented at different Polish stands—unique regional products made for many years according to original recipes. They included baked goods, organic processed foods, cold cuts, fresh vegetable and fruit juice, honey, mayonnaise, dressings and sauces, salads, fish, all kinds of cheese, yogurt as well as wines and other alcoholic beverages.

This year’s Green Week focused on presenting regional and local products. There were plenty of those at the stands of Polish exhibitors, including cold cuts, cheese, apples and baked goods from the Ministry of Agriculture’s List of Traditional Products. Thirty-six Polish products are already registered as products protected by the European Commission.

The fair is not just a venue for promotion and for establishing business contacts. “It is also an important place for discussing the future of the Common Agricultural Policy,” said Kalemba. “This is an opportunity for bilateral and multilateral meetings, concerning both detailed issues relating to agriculture and strategic directions of the agricultural policy.”

As every year, the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection organized the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, GFFA 2013, during Berlin’s Green Week. This year the motto was “Responsible Investment in the Food and Agriculture Sectors: A Key Factor for Food Security and Rural Development.”

A discussion by the agriculture ministers attending the forum focused on the role of private, public and joint projects in agriculture and on ways of ensuring the sector’s sustainable development. They also talked about how to help agricultural producers, including small farmers, access funds.
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