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Country report - Poland

by Dorota Metera, Bioekspert.

This article was originally written for the publication "Organic in Europe", published by the IFOAM EU Group in collaboration with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Switzerland, and the Mediterranean Institute for Agronomic Research CIHEAM-IAM, Bari, Italy. 

Key indicators 2012

  • Organic agricultural area: 661,687 hectares
  • Operators:
    • Organic producers: 25,944 (2012)
    • Organic processors: 312 (processors and traders)
    • Organic importers: 30
    • Organic exporters: no data
  • Retail sales: EUR 146 million (2013, estimates)

Area and operator data: Głowny Inspektorat Jakości Handlowej Artykułow Rolno-Spożywczych, GIJHARS, Main Agriculture and Food Quality Inspection, www.ijhar-s.gov.pl. Please note that these data differ slightly from those provided by Eurostat; Retail sales: PortalSpozywczy at http://www.portalspozywczy.pl/owoce-warzywa/wiadomosci/ekspert-w-2015-r-wartosc-rynku-zywnosci-ekologicznej-wyniesie-ok-700-mln-zl,88832.html; Share of total market: PMR http://www.pmrpublications.com/press-releases/380/rynek-spozywczyw-polsce-wart-230-mld-zl-w-2012-roku

History of organic farming

  • 1980s: The first courses on biodynamic and alternative farming systems are held in different cities by Mieczysław Gorny and his team, and by experts of the Demeter Association
  • 1989: EKOLAND, the Association of Organic Producers, is registered after the first free  election following the country’s political transition
  • 1990: Producer inspections begin, based on the EKOLAND standards; the first 29 farmers receive their certificates
  • 1999: A subsidy system for organic agricultural land is financed by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • 2004: Poland joins the European Union (EU) and starts agri-environmental programmes with a support system for organic farming

Key sector institutions

Production base: land use and key crops

Of the total organic area of 661,956 hectares, based on data from Eurostat

  • 53.4 % consists of arable land,
  • 35.4 % permanent grassland and grazing areas,
  • 8.7 % permanent cropland, and
  • 2.5 % other agricultural land.

The key arable crops are

  • green fodder from arable land, including temporary grasses and grazing areas (207,923 hectares),
  • cereals (122,818 hectares), and
  • vegetables (9,379 hectares).

The key permanent crops are

  • apples (35,375 hectares),
  • berries (14,633 hectares) and
  • other temperate fruits (6,615 hectares).

Market

The market for organic products is growing slowly but continuously; organic products can now also be found in conventional shops and supermarkets, rather than just specialised small organic shops.

  • Top-selling products:vegetables, fruits and cereal products.
  • Market channels: are specialised organic shops, supermarkets, covered markets, direct sales to consumers, internet shops.
  • Exports and imports: The key export products are mainly frozen berries, vegetables, and apple juice concentrate and cereals. The key imported products are processed products, exotic fruits, spring vegetables, and tea and coffee. No data are available for total exports and imports.

Standards, legislation, organic logo

In Poland, organic farming is subject to both the EU legislation and other regulations, and the Polish act on organic farming of 25 June 2009, which introduced a certification system.
The EU organic logo is used.

Policy support

  • Support under the EU rural development programme: Include payments for organic agriculture as part of the Agri-environmental programme, and reimbursement of inspection costs as part of the measure Participation of farmers in Food Quality Schemes.
  • Other policy support:  There is no further policy support.

Research & advice

Selected research projects are financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
A system of agri-environmental advisory services (public and private) has been developed since 2004; some advisors are specialised in organic farming.

Challenges & outlook

The market for organic products shows slow but stable growth. Many processed products are imported, because the national processing industry is still its infancy. The area of land being farmed organically will probably decrease due to a change in the subsidy system under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from 2014.

Further information

For other relevant websites, see the sections on key sector institutions.

Contact

Dorota Metera
Bioekspert
ul. Narbutta 3 A m 1
02-564 Warsaw
Poland

Tel.: +482 2825 1812
Fax: +482 2825 1812

bioekspert@no-spam.bioekspert.waw.pl
www.bioekspert.waw.pl

Organic in Europe 2014

  • Organic in Europe 2014 - Prospects and Developments
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