Voivodeship’s fertile farmlandFood Industry
Originally Published in April 2017
The Lubelskie Voivodeship is Poland’s leader in agri-food production. Located in Eastern Poland, the region is a gateway into Eastern Europe and Asia. As the first stop in the European Union along China’s One-Belt-One-Road initiative, the region is becoming increasingly valuable and rapidly gaining interest from investors. Highly specialized in the ecological cultivation of crops, the region produced 14 percent of Poland’s fruits and vegetables. Over 130 registered traditional products of producers come from the Lubelskie Voivodeship. The value of exports in the agri-food processing industry totaled 659 million euros in 2013. Developed infrastructure, good climate conditions, over 1,500 enterprises and a workforce of almost 20 thousand, and multiple scientific institutions contribute to the region’s growing agro-food market potential.
Agri-food production is one of the primary industries of the region – 71 percent of the area is farmland. With good climate conditions and fertile soil, the Lubelskie Voivodeship produces mainly cereals (wheat, oat and barley), potatoes, industrial crops (sugar beets) and fruit. The region is a leading producer of soft fruit, especially raspberries (75 percent of national output), currants (32 percent) and strawberries (18 percent). It’s also a major producer of hops (83 percent). Agricultural holdings provide inputs for a number of industries, not just ecological fruit and vegetable processing, but also sugar, milling, dairy, meat and tobacco (43 percent). The voivodeship is also a major producer of medicinal plants, apiculture products, distilled beverages and beer. Additionally, it has a well-developed livestock industry of pigs, cattle and horses.
The region’s ecological food industry is also developing in organic-food production which holds much potential for advancement. With 2,037 organic farms, the organic farming industry caters to both food-conscious consumers as well as the renewable-energy sector. As more consumers look to this region for healthy food, demand for dairy products from local dairies also continues to grow.
The region’s location is a key factor in product distribution. Lubelskie Voivodeship borders an area between the European Union and the Eurasian Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan). It lies along Pan-European east-west/north-south transit corridors A2 motorway, S17 and S12 expressways and railways lines E20 and E7. Border checkpoints are highly developed with modern customs clearance terminals and dry ports to transload goods transported by rail. In addition, the Lublin Airport is one of the most modern airports in Poland.
Seventy-one percent of the Lubelskie Voivodeship is farmland.
There are three large farmers’ markets organized in the Lubelskie Voivodeship: the Agricultural and Horticultural Market in Elizówka, the Eastern Cereals and Commodity Market in Lublin and the Eastern Agro-Export Centre in Biała Podlaska. The Marshal’s Office of the Lubelskie Voivodeship provides free support such as preparing economic information, managing trade missions, assisting in communication with local administration, running current databases and providing information on public aid for investors.
Lublin’s top universities –Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, the Lublin University of Technology and the University of Life Sciences – provide research and intellectual resources to the agri-food industry. In the 2012/2013 academic year, nearly 2,500 students graduated in food industry-related majors – 8.9 percent of new graduates in the region. In the same academic year, 7.5 percent of students in the region obtained vocational qualifications useful in the food industry with plans to work as nutrition and catering technicians. Scientific institutions with laboratory facilities in the region also provide R&D support for the food sector.
DID YOU KNOW
- Although the Lubelskie Region is perceived as the gateway to the east because of its location in Poland, EU countries are the region’s main business partners.
- Top business partners in terms of food product exports are the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy.
- Lubelskie food product exports have been increasing at an average 8.3 percent between 2012 – 2015 and forecasts are still positive.
- While Poland is the biggest raspberries producer in the EU and one of the leaders in the world, 79 percent of the raspberry production in Poland comes from the Lubelskie Region.
- The Lubelskie Voivodeship is responsible for 15 percent of apple production in Poland and Poland is the leading apple exporter in the EU and in the world.
Respect for entrepreneurship
The Lubelskie Voivodeship has always been successful in creating a good business environment. Local authorities work to attract new investments to the region, but have not forgotten about entrepreneurs who started their businesses in this part of Poland.
Mastermedia delivers merchandise from Poland to retail shops in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium. The company offers nearly 10,000 products made by the best food manufacturers in Poland, including meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, ready meals and beverages. With nearly 30 refrigerated vehicles, its own warehouses and transshipment stations, Mastermedia delivers products on time and in perfect condition. Orders are prepared and loaded onto trucks in Lublin and Wysogotowo, near Poznan. In addition to attractive discount programs, special promotions are available on a regular basis to provide even more competitive prices. The company started as a small business in 2006 and continued to grow. Today, Mastermedia has more than 300 employees in Poland and abroad.
Agram is a commercial manufacturing company with two refrigeration plants for freezing fruits and vegetables. Located in the eastern part of Poland, near Lublin, the plant processes foods grown by local farmers. Agram’s experienced and professional staff oversees the manufacturing process of frozen fruits and vegetables. The freezers can process and store up to 30,000 tons of frozen food. The company’s portfolio includes 30 types of high-quality frozen fruit and vegetable products. With more than 50 years of tradition and expertise, Agram products are shipped worldwide to large and small customers alike.
Polskie Jagody is a fruit producer and supplier of berries, mainly blueberries. Its fruit-sorting facility is equipped with modern packaging lines and atmosphere-controlled storage units. The company has five plantations located on the edge of the Puszcza Solska Landscape Park in the Lubelskie Voivodeship on a total area of 180 hectares. The plantations are certified by GlobalGap, Tesco Nurture and Leaf. Berries are harvested mechanically between the months of July and October, and modern cultivation technologies are used to produce the highest quality fruit. Blueberries are available in retail packages with a weight of 125 to 500 grams of fruit, or other options upon customers’ request.
POL-MAK is one of the largest manufacturers of pasta in Central and Eastern Poland. The company was established in 1995 by a graduate of the AGH University of Science and Technology as a one-man business that continued to grow. The pastas are made according to great-grandmother Helena’s traditional recipes and include tagliatelle, narrow ribbon, thread, fettuccini and many other types of pasta. The production facility, located in Ludwin, is equipped with modern machinery and produces about 16 tons of pasta per day. Today, POL-MAK products are sold throughout Poland and exported to the Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ukraine.
LubApple is a group of six major Polish fruit growers that were joined together as an initiative by the Lubelskie Voivodeship. Thanks to the cooperation within the group, LubApple is able to meet the expectations of customers worldwide. Members of LubApple include ZPO Stryjno-Sad, Lubsad Ltd., Józefów Sad Ltd., Witabo Ltd., FruVitaLand Ltd., and ZPO Sadpol. Together, the group forms one of the largest apple producers in Europe. In addition to apples, the fruit growers also produce raspberries, cherries, strawberries, pears, plums, currants, gooseberries and rhubarb. The companies in the group all have strong positions on the Polish market and have years of experience in selling apples all over Europe, Africa and even Asia.