Poland – Bronisław Węglewski, the chairman of the Chamber of Agriculture of the Łódź voivodship, in the central part of the country, has raised the alarm about Ukrainian grain, which he says is now flooding the Polish market:
“Healthy Polish grain goes to the West, while we eat grain with chemicals that are not allowed here but are used in Ukraine.
So what about the green deal for Ukrainian grain? Are we supposed to poison ourselves?
[…] The West knows what Ukrainian grain is and does not buy it. We buy only as brothers, and here we are destroying Polish farmers. Before the war, wheat in Poland cost 140–160 zlotys/100 kg, and now it costs 110–120 zlotys/100 kg. But the cost of everything has increased considerably. How are we Polish farmers supposed to survive? Unless everyone wants us not to grow crops, but instead defend Ukrainian farmers so that they can sell us grain here. (…)
The truth is that it is not the Ukrainians, but the Western oligarchs who have land in Ukraine.”
For his part, Poland’s Agriculture Minister Henryk Kowalczyk (PiS) has categorically denied this claim: “The quality of [Ukrainian] grain is tested, so this is not true. The product itself meets all quality standards, it is just as good as the Polish product.” However, Kowalczyk did issue a caveat: “Of course, there are differences in the technology used for agricultural production,
and Polish farmers must produce in accordance with ecological requirements. There is no such requirement over there.”
On 17 January, the agrarian movement AGROunia organised a protest action against the import of cheap Ukrainian grain into Poland, demanding the introduction of tariffs on these imports. Being a member of the EU, Poland cannot, however, implement such tariffs on its own.