Apples only for the rich? Growers will pay five times more for electricity

On the farm and fruit farm of the Klimkiewicz family from Wtelno (near Bydgoszcz) the apple harvest is in progress. – We have varieties such as: Delikates, Piros, Paulared, but we also start collecting winter varieties, which we store all year round, like Gala or Idared – lists Karolina Klimkiewicz-Wą torek. – The harvest will be good, because there is a lot of fruit. The apples are then stored in anaerobic chambers at an appropriate temperature. During the year, as needed, we open them and then the fruit is as fresh as taken from a tree – he says.

500 percent more for electricity

Abundant harvests are probably the only good news for producers, because the costs of producing and storing fruit can keep you awake at night. – The price for electricity will be at least five times higher than this year – breaks the hands of Sebastian Szymanowski, director of the GALSTER Fruit Producers Group in Wierzchucice near Bydgoszcz. – The annual cost of electricity in our company was at the level of PLN 250 – 300 thousand. zloty. Today we have to take into account the amount of PLN 1.5 million. We do not have the profitability that we normally obtain from the margin, and we are not able to transfer it to our recipients – he explains.

The Klimkiewicz family is also waiting for price increases. – We still have an agreement from last year, but we already know that this increase will be colossal. We estimate that for the price of an apple it will be 50 groszy more, just for its storage alone – says Karolina.

“We will minimize losses and close our cold stores”

In fruit farms, electricity is needed, among others for the operation of cooling chambers in which fruit is stored. Without the right temperature and oxygen, apples or pears will go bad. The Galster Group has already made a decision to sell as much fruit as possible. – We want to minimize losses. Until the end of the year, we will sell our fruit to all possible markets, including foreign ones, in order to store them as little as possible, says Szymanowski.

– Fruit will not be available all year round. The product will probably be kept by those who have to, ie supermarket suppliers, because they are obliged to do so by contracts, he explains. If electricity prices continue to grow, next year the company from Wierzchucice will simply close its cold stores.

“If fertilizer prices do not fall, farmers will not produce food”

Huge increases in gas and electricity prices are not the only problems in the agricultural and fruit industries. Labor and fuel costs are also constantly rising, which means that fruit production has increased by about 30 percent compared to previous years.

Farmers and fruit growers are also worried about increases in fertilizer prices. – We are worried about their availability – says Szymanowski. – Until recently, there was a loud case of closing production by one of the largest Polish producers. If fertilizer prices do not fall, farmers will not produce food. And unfortunately, this is a very real scenario – he adds.

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