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    EU Regulations Pose Threat to Polish Fish Processing

    The European Parliament’s recent move to regulate Polish fish processing, especially salmon, has sparked concerns in the industry. With a whopping €3.5 billion annual turnover and a 12% EU market share, Poland holds a significant position in this sector.

    The new EU regulations target the process of “stiffening” in salmon processing, a vital method used by producers. This is troubling for Poland, a major player in salmon processing, handling about 240,000 tons of Norwegian salmon annually, valued at €1.4 billion.

    The Polish Association of Fish Processors (PSPR) voiced its worries, highlighting the impact of the regulations on the industry. According to PSPR Director Arletta Wenderlich, the time limit imposed on stiffening and slicing smoked fillets to 96 hours will disrupt the logistical process, as companies often need up to 2 weeks for these operations.

    Wenderlich stressed the lack of scientific backing for such restrictions, noting that smoked fillets maintained at stiffening temperature remain safe for consumption for much longer, even up to 180 days. However, these regulations could strain Polish companies’ ability to meet foreign demand, notably in Germany, a significant market for Polish smoked salmon.

    The Polish fish processing sector, employing around 20,000 workers, faces a potential setback. Notably, 17% of Norwegian fish exports undergo processing in Poland, underlining its importance in the EU market.

    Despite PSPR’s efforts to influence legislation, concerns persist, especially regarding the absence of an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Meanwhile, major industry players like Mowi Central Europe are gearing up to adapt to the new regulatory landscape, emphasizing their commitment to delivering safe, high-quality products.

    The EU’s adoption of stringent hygiene standards limits the stiffening period for fish to a maximum of 96 hours, raising challenges for the Polish fish processing industry.

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