Canada gives green light to Polish apple imports
Canada will help to alleviate the challenging market conditions for Polish apple exporters in the wake of the Russian ban, as the North American country is set to open its doors to the fruit after fast-tracked negotiations.
The Polish Embassy in Ottawa recently announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had issued a certificate allowing apples to be imported.
Although the campaign to introduce Polish apples into Canada began in 2012, negotiations were intensified in August following Russia's decision to ban agricultural imports from EU countries.
Poland's Ambassador to Canada Marcin Bosacki met then with the CFIA vice president Paul Mayers, who promised to accelerate the process.
Poland is the largest apple export in the world, outstripping China in the 2012-13 season by selling more than 1.2 million metric tons (MT) to international markets.
Around 700,000MT were shipped to Russia on average each year, and so the loss of the market was a monumental blow for the industry.
The Polish Embassy in Ottawa described obtaining Canadian consent as 'good news', saying it gave rise to expectations of further strengthening mutual economic cooperation, especially after the signing of a joint declaration announcing the final shape of the tree trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA).
A Polish industry union official recently told www.freshfruitportal.com work was being done to try and open up the Chinese and Indian markets to further alleviate the pressure for exporters.
Polish Ambassador to the United States Ryszard Schnepf has also requested Americans join him in requesting the U.S. Government allows access for what he calls 'freedom apples'.
If you would like to read more about the most recent developments relating to the Russian ban, click here.