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Poland’s cheese production soars to new heights, making it a global contender. Explore the diverse range, growing exports, and traditional specialties. Exciting times for Polish cheese!
Poland has solidified its position among the world’s top cheese producers, reaching a record production of 992,000 tons in 2022, following its EU accession in 2004. The Deputy Director-General of the National Support Center for Agriculture, Marcin Wroński, highlighted the country’s cheese industry growth, with an 8.5-fold increase in cheese exports.
Historical Roots and Current Status
Poland’s industrial cheese production traces back to the mid-19th century, gaining momentum in the post-war era. Presently, Poland ranks fourth in the EU and fifth globally, with the USA leading at around 6.2 million tons. The production volume doubled from 2000 to 2022, reaching 71% growth since EU accession.
Variety in Production
Twarog (curd cheese) constitutes 52% of production, rennet cheeses 39%, and processed cheeses 8%. Notably, the yellow rennet cheeses, or “yellow cheeses,” accounted for 17.6% of the dairy industry’s sales in 2022.
Export Growth and Market Trends
Cheese and curd exports surged 8.5 times from 2004 to 2022, totaling 279,000 tons in 2022, contributing 28% to national production. Rennet cheeses dominated the export market at 64%, valued at €735,000, showcasing a global preference for Polish cheese.
International Reach and Consumer Appeal
Poland’s cheese exports primarily target EU nations, with significant sales to the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and Slovakia. The export of fresh, whey, and curd cheeses grew over eight times from 2004 to 2022, with continued positive trends projected for 2023.
Traditional and Regional Specialties
Poland boasts a rich tradition of regional and traditional cheeses, such as the ancient Bryndza and Korycinski, dating back to 1527. Producers aim for recognition on the National List of Traditional Products.
In 2023, the upward trend in exports is expected to persist, as evidenced by data from the first eight months. Poland’s diverse, high-quality cheeses are gaining global acclaim for their flavors, nutritional value, and culinary versatility.