Polski Karp exploring market for Polish farm-raised carp in Asia
Polski Karp, an organization of carp producers in Poland, is hoping to expand its reach into Southeast Asia.
Established in 2012, Polski Karp was formed to bring together carp breeders, farmers, and other industry entrepreneurs to improve efficiency in response to growing market demand. The organization has expanded to include other species of freshwater fish, including catfish, sturgeon, and more.
Polski Karp Vice President Dawid Tarasiewicz told SeafoodSource during Seafood Expo Asia – running from 11 to 13 September in Singapore – the organization currently has 80 different carp farms across Poland. In Poland, he said, carp has historically been a popular dish for celebratory occasions such as Christmas Eve, but it has gradually been gaining year-round popularity.
“Carp for us is like a national fish. It’s a special meal for Christimas Eve,” Tarasiewicz said.
Poland is the largest producer of carp in the European Union, responsible for 28 percent of carp farmed in the bloc. In 2019, the country hit a peak production of 21,300 metric tons. Its exports of the species are also rising, according to Tarasiewicz.
“We have quite a big market in Europe,” Tarasiewicz said. “We are selling our carp to France, to the United Kingdom, to Spain.”
Asia, however, is a different story. China is one of the largest producers of carp on the planet, which makes for steep competition, Tarasiewicz said. But Polish carp can offer an alternative in the market, he said, with a range of product types from whole fish to cut fillets and necks, which can be packaged in a number of ways, including skinpacks and flowpacks.
Attending Seafood Expo Asia as part of the new Poland pavilion is a good way to learn market demand unique to Asia, Polski Karp Vice President Tomasz Siwiec told SeafoodSource. Oftentimes, a product that does well in Europe won’t do well in Asia, and vice-versa, he said.
“It’s something that you can’t see on the internet," he said. "You have to come here to see."
Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource