2015 has been a difficult year in the European tomato market due to the impact of the Russian embargo. Andrzej Kornafel of Citronex, explains that in order to tackle this, Polish producers have been trying to develop business in neighbouring countries, as Poland usually delivers big volumes to Russia. This year most of their production has stayed in Poland. And because of this, Polish growers have had more tomatoes available and prices have been under pressure.
Despite this context, Andrzej says Citronex has already been working for years to adapt to changing conditions in the Polish market. “Supermarket chains demand high quality, and while there is demand, it is mostly for good quality and the best varieties. We have specialised in premium products, so for us this situation is favourable.” In fact, it is reflected in Citronex’s sales figures, which are growing every year.
The firm, which has achieved success with its long-term business plan, is consequently far from discouraged by the situation caused by the embargo. “If we look at modern greenhouses, Citronex is already the biggest tomato grower in Poland, and we want to continue investing because high quality products are the future in the Polish market,” states Andrzej. Also, with the best technologies implemented in our greenhouses (such as growing lamps in winter), our production has grown compared to the previous year.

As far as development is concerned, Citronex is in fact currently in the process of building a new greenhouse with an area of 17 hectares, which will be added to the 33 hectares it already has. “Next year, we will also start build at least another 5 hectares,” says Andrzej.

When it comes to the development and introduction of new varieties, “We are open for new varieties if our clients demand them, and we are currently testing a few. The most popular in Poland are raspberry tomatoes (pink beef tomatoes), which is the variety that people usually grow in their small house-garden greenhouses and the one we are specialised in, added Andrzej.”

He, in fact, points to the importance of specialisation. New-specialised production of vine tomatoes, plum tomatoes, as well as sweet and cherry tomatoes. They expect to develop sales to Germany and Central European markets. All in all, this year Citronex expects to produce 19,000,000 kilos, taking all varieties into account.
For more information:

Andrzej Kornafel
Tel.: +48 757721943
Fax: +48 757721945
E-mail: andrzej.kornafel@polskiepomidory.com