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Polish v Western farm produce?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
22 Mar 2010 #1
Can anyone explain how it pays the Belgian and Dutch to flood Poland with their veggies and fruit, often undercutting the prices charged for Polish produce? The people producing and preparing it in the Benelux earn a higherr wage, the goods have to be transported across half of Europe and still they come out ahead. As for quality and nutriotional value, the imported stuff is possibly genetically modified, chemcially fertilised, preserved and prettified, but even so shouldn't it cost much more at the retail end than locally produced stuff.
enkidu 7 | 623
22 Mar 2010 #2
Partially - you answered your question yourself. Hi-tech modified vegetables and industrial scale farms plus subsidies vs Polish traditional, family running 5ha farms.
But the taste is different.
For instance if you would ask me if the western strawberries taste more like strawberries or shampoo, I would answer: Strawberries, off course. But it don't taste like a real thing.

Living in the UK, I feel very sorry for millions of the natives who never in their life tasted the real butter, strawberries, mushrooms, pork, cream, milk, blackberries, cheese etc. What you can buy at Tesco is a remote remainder of the real taste.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
22 Mar 2010 #3
The effectiveness is much higher in this huge facilities. All small details are optimized to 100%. Poland has a lot of small scale, old fashioned, production.

Living in the UK, I feel very sorry for millions of the natives who never in their life tasted the real butter, strawberries, mushrooms, pork, cream, milk, blackberries, cheese etc. What you can buy at Tesco is a remote remainder of the real taste.

True. And this is what most stores in Poland sell these days as well.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
22 Mar 2010 #4
Poland has a lot of small scale, old fashioned, production.

I find this to be a huge visual difference when I drive an hour from here (Poland) across the boarder to Slovakia.
There are big co-operatives in Slovakia, I think co-ops has the connotation of communist here in Poland.
So you get lots and lots of small thin strips of fields here, whereas in Slovakia they have joined them together in some places.

I often see a cow with a few metres of rope nailed to a field, it is very strange for an Irishman.
I still don't understand why people don't make a boarder and just let the cows walk around? probably money but it just seems strange to me.

As for quality and nutriotional value, the imported stuff is possibly genetically modified, chemcially fertilised, preserved and prettified, but even so shouldn't it cost much more at the retail end than locally produced stuff.

It could be that the mass production farms sell their produce for less when the fulfil their quota?

I know the U.S. and Europe sell some African countries their surplus of food for less than the local farmers can.
Effectively destroying local farming livelihoods.
So for an example a farmer produces 10 million tons of corn, if he sells it in his own country, the price of corn would go down, so he sells 4 million tons to his own country and can sell the extra 6 million tons at rock bottom prices abroad.

If they don't sell the surplus they destroy it by burning it.

The old supply and demand business practice, it isn't fair but that seems to be the way things are done.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
22 Mar 2010 #5
I often see a cow with a few metres of rope nailed to a field

That is f*cked up, and shouldn't be allowed at all.
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Mar 2010 #6
The old supply and demand business practice, it isn't fair but that seems to be the way things are done.

The problem with free trade is when subsidies are involved. It can never be free when one country is massively subsidizing people to farm a certain crop.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
22 Mar 2010 #7
That is f*cked up, and shouldn't be allowed at all.

You must have seen it, it is common sight.

It can never be free when one country is massively subsidizing people to farm a certain crop.

This practice has effectively destroyed local farming businesses in some African countries.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
22 Mar 2010 #8
Sometimes I feel Poland made a mistake by not speciaisng in ecological, natural farming as soon as the regime collapsed. One European country Poland's size specialising in such produce would probably have found enough niche markets around the globe to make a go of it, despite lower yields and scrawnier lookign but natural produce. Intead, Poladn now produces the same kind ogfhyperprocessed instant slop and fake foods known in the West. Many of the meat products contain a little meat, fat, blood plasma (for colour) and lots of soy granules-- just add warer, stir and you get mountains of processed lunch meats, sausages, patés, etc. Wielka szkoda!
jwojcie 2 | 763
23 Mar 2010 #9
Can anyone explain how it pays the Belgian and Dutch to flood Poland with their veggies and fruit, often undercutting the prices charged for Polish produce?

Polonius3, check your data. AFAIK food, including processed food is one the few domains where Poland has positive trade balance. Maybe in some areas of this domain western products are more competitive, but in general it is rather the other way around.

As for veggies, it depends from the season. For example, in the spring there is a lot of costly spanish tomatoes on the market, but as soon as domestic products shows up, they displace imported once. It is not like polish food is so much better, I'm sure fresh spanish tomatoes are great, but to make them fresh entire year is different story.
polkamaniac 1 | 482
27 Mar 2010 #10
No difference here in Canada.We get fruits and vegetables from Florida ,California and South America cheaper than it is to buy it locally.We live in the fruit and vegetable belt of southern Ontario and it's way cheaper to buy from the States ,Chile and Peru.The only good part of having our own is if you want it fresh then you buy local and pay a premium for it.
convex 20 | 3,978
27 Mar 2010 #11
polkamaniac: We live in the fruit and vegetable belt of southern Ontario

What does that consist of? Apples and root vegetables?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
4 Apr 2010 #12
What do you think of the notion that from a standpoint of health and nutruition one should eat mainly local produce in season. Everything imported from distant places is picked green, chemically treated, stored for extended periods, wax-sprayed to enhance shininess, etc., etc. Naturally from an economic stadnpoitn, this makes sense for those peddling this industrially prodyuced and artificially ripened stuff and the consumer who prefers to pay less for nutritionally inferior produce. But the human organism is the loser.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,858
12 Jan 2021 #13
you get mountains of processed lunch meats, sausages, pat├ęs, etc.

Much as I've disagreed with Polly in the past, he was right here. The amount of processed food in Poland is quite diabolical, while Polish farm produce is incredibly monotonous. Seanus was right when he talks about farming cooperatives in Slovakia - it's a huge reason why the Polish agricultural sector is lagging behind Western Europe.
pawian 176 | 14,299
12 Jan 2021 #14
while Polish farm produce is incredibly monotonous.

You mean traditional stuff like potatoes, beetroot, cabbage, carrot etc and usually only one, two varieties of it? If so, I agree coz there are so many unknown veg or new varieties available - I see it when I look through offers with seeds for my own farming.

However, the reason is obvious - still many Poles are conservative about food, afraid to try new ingredients/dishes, so farmers only grow what is well known by customers and can be easily sold.


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