BayWa takes aim at German government

BayWa takes aim at German government

The German government needs to do more to protect and tie down trade agreements for the country's fruit exports if its major producers are not to risk losing out on vital overseas contracts, warns BayWa, one of the country's major agricultural and apple suppliers, has warned.

Klaus Josef Lutz, chief executive of BayWa, has responded to news that Poland has signed another significant trade agreement - this time to supply Vietnam with apples, following similar contracts with Canada, Egypt, Morocco and Cyprus - with a strongly-worded statement. 

He said: "If we do not get such agreements for Germany as soon as possible, apple producers in our country will have serious problems within two years at the latest. This is the reason why economic and agricultural politicians in Germany must now concentrate their efforts fully on such agreements."

He added: "Polish politicians have demonstrated that trade agreements can be negotiated and signed within one year instead of years. German agricultural politicians can learn a lesson from this."

The pressure on German fruit producers has intensified, stressed Lutz, following last year's bumper crop, which significantly reduced prices and, he claimed, "threatened the livelihoods of apple growers".

This, Lutz said, had coincided with Poland’s aggressive export strategy following Russia's ban on Polish apples in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. 

Lutz said it was vital Germany did all it could to capture a larger share of the global export trade, particularly in the "growing Asian markets". He added: "Our New Zealand subsidiaries that have already been successful in China show us what kind of opportunities are possible there."

But German producers like BayWa, argued Lutz, were being held back because of the lack of bilateral trade agreements between Germany and the Asian countries. 

"Other countries are already much further along, such as the Netherlands, for example. This is shameful for an export nation such as Germany," he said.