No lack of food in Polish shops amid overproduction - minister

Poland produces food for its own needs and there will be no lack of staple foods such as flour, meat, milk, eggs or vegetables, PAP was told by Agriculture Minister Jan Ardanowski.

"People buy out food during dangerous situations in every country. They don't know how the market will behave, whether the shops will be working and for how long shopping will have to be limited. There are also empty shelves in Berlin supermarkets, where everything has been bought out," the minister noted.

In fear of coronavirus, Poles also purchase food, mostly products with long shelf-life, but it is a temporary phenomenon, the minister said. "Supply channels guarantee that missing products will be delivered to shops because food production in Poland is at a high level and there are stocks, so I don't expect any dramatic developments," Ardanowski said.

According to him, buying additional supplies of food is a rational decision given the fact that Poland has decided to close down all schools for two weeks.

Still, people should not overreact, according to the minister. "The coronavirus sickness will pass and then what? We'll be throwing away food that we were buying like crazy," Ardanowski said.

"Agriculture in our country is capable of ensuring food for Polish consumers. There will be no lack of food," he assured, adding that Poland has ample stocks, as last year's harvest was "not bad." Poland is a big producer of food and due to the scale of production the country has to export 80 percent of its beef, 60 percent of poultry and 40 percent of milk and dairy products, Ardanowski said. Other export products include rapeseed, fruits, vegetables and oils, he added.