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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Special Report -> 
Polish dairy farmer turns east
    2017-09-26  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

NEVER before has Mariusz Marczak shown so much interest in the Chinese market half a world away from Poland. Now he’s looking towards China for the majority of sales.

“We want to produce more quality milk for Chinese consumers,” the 31-year-old cow breeder and milk producer said when Xinhua reporters visited his cow farm.

Marczak, also a new father of 1-year-old daughter, keeps around 170 milk cows in the small village of Lipnice, more than an hour’s drive from the Polish capital of Warsaw.

Just about 60 kilometers west of Marczak’s cow farm, the Polish city of Lodz now has a direct cargo railway connection with Chengdu, the capital city of Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The rail connection is one of the symbolic projects of the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-proposed transnational network of trade, investment and economic development.

“As a milk producer, I look to the Chinese market, as it contains huge opportunity. We want to produce more quality product to satisfy Chinese consumers. I can assure you that the Polish milk products stand firm as far as quality is concerned,” Marczak said.

Marczak took over the family farm from his father who started his career with only three cows in 1970s.

“I start work at around 6:30 a.m. every day. When I come to the cowshed, first I check the cows’ health parameters to see if everything is as usual, then I do some cleaning and give fresh food to the cattle. Then I go out to work in the fields,” Marczak recounts his daily routine, while his daughter looks at the dairy cows with curiosity.

The cows live in pleasant conditions, some freely eating and drinking, others enjoying a massage with the help of automatically rotating brushes, and others still being mechanically milked on their own.

Marczak has equipped his farm with automatic milking machines, three tractors and other modern farming equipment. Now, his farm produces around 3,000 liters milk a day. He manages the large farm with only his father’s help. Apart from the cows, they are also cultivating 70 hectares of crops, 35 hectares of which is growing corn for cow feed.

“At the beginning, I never thought it would be possible,” says Stanislaw, Marczak’s 65-year-old father. But it did become possible thanks to hard work and cooperation with Lowicz Cooperative Plant (OSM Lowicz), which was created 110 years ago.

Szymon Makos, export Specialist form OSM Lowicz, shares Marczak’s views on the Chinese market.

“Last year, we exported about 600 containers of milk products, worth about 10 million euros (US$11.89 million), to China. But we do hope demand will continue to rise as we are capable of producing much more,” Makos says.

OSM Lowicz now produces more than 250 types of products and exports them to 56 countries and is among top five dairy producers in Poland. The plant in Lowicz is their biggest one, but they also have five more around the country. They export UHT milk and cream, butter, whey powder and yogurt drinks to the Chinese market.

To meet the taste preferences of Chinese consumers, they conducted a lot of research and developed a Greek-styled yogurt drink with last October.

“Jovitos Greek-style yogurt is designed especially for the Chinese market. In order to achieve our goal we took many visits to China, took part in food fairs and events and visited supermarkets in China. We listened to the consumers’ opinions to find out what is most popular. Furthermore we do our best to provide best quality product, tailored to their requirements,” Makos says.

“We equipped our factories with modern facilities and are using the newest technologies in processing more than 570 million liters of milk annually,” Makos says. Comprehensive quality control is being done by qualified personnel in accordance with established standards. “We are ready to increase production and export more to the Chinese market,” he adds.

Following the Russian embargo on European agricultural products in 2014, more Polish producers have turned to the Chinese market.

According to Polish official data, the value of Polish agri-food exports to China grew dynamically in 2014, and dairy products consist of more than 30 percent of Polish agri-food export to China in 2015.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is an opportunity to improve the bilateral trade cooperation in the agri-food sector. We are convinced that Polish food products can be made attractive to the Chinese in terms of price and quality,” says Katarzyna Szymanska, head of Unit of Export Support Office of Agricultural Market Agency of Poland.

The increased regularity of cargo trains between China and Poland becomes more necessary as more and more Polish food exports, such as wine, are transported by this mode of transportation.

Szymanska believes that Poland can become the regional center of trade exchange between China and Central and Southeast Europe.

(Xinhua)

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