Rush’s increasing business in Eastern Europe has meant that the Polish office has recently grown in size. Eryka Kutryj and Adam Owczarek are the new recruits and taking five minutes out of their busy day they explain amongst other things, why they were keen to join Rush and what they see as the biggest challenges in the Polish fresh produce market.
What is your role?
Eryka: I am Marcin and Justyna’s assistant. My main duties involve researching the fruit and vegetable market in Eastern Europe, with particular emphasis on leeks, onions, broccoli and cauliflowers. I also help organise all transportation on a daily basis, as well as looking into improving fresh produce haulage in general in Poland and other East European countries, as presently most local companies are mainly interested in West Europe, but obviously we need to provide the normal Rush transportation service to all our customers, wherever they are.
Adam: I am a trader’s assistant; most of my working day is spent dealing with the wholesale markets, particularly dealing with pomelos, celeriac, onions, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and lemons. I prepare offers and customise them to fit their individual needs. Wholesale markets in Poland are in a constant state of flux, no two days are the same, which requires me to be in constant contact on a daily basis to keep up to date with the state of the markets. I also organise transport and make sure that each delivery is as seamless as possible, as Rush’s reputation of delivering on time needs to be preserved.
What did you do before joining Rush?
Eryka: I was working for a global haulage company in United Kingdom – hence Marcin and Justyna asking me to help with transportation in Poland and around.
Adam: I was working for the Poland’s largest supermarket nursery product supplier, dealing in such items as fruit trees. This gave me the necessary experience of dealing in perishable goods.
What made you want to get into the fresh produce industry?
Eryka: Because it is such a vibrant and exciting industry to work in. It is ever-changing, developing and growing on a regular basis, meaning no two days are ever the same.
Adam: Much the same as Eryka really. This industry, particularly in Eastern Europe is changing rapidly and in turn creating opportunities that need to be seized and problems that need to be sorted. I am naturally drawn to turning a negative as a positive and so providing the best deals for both growers and customers alike.
What made you want to join Rush Group?
Eryka: Rush has a true global presence with offices throughout Europe and South East Asia, however its approach is still a personal one. This means, even though my colleagues might be miles away in different time zones, we all still operate as one team, which gives our customers a unique access to fresh produce all around the world.
Adam: A whole mixture of reasons, including the people who have such a positive, energetic and intelligent approach to their work. There is also a very friendly atmosphere, which means that everyone, wherever they are in the world works together, ensuring that our customers have a connection with some of the finest growers and farmers in the world.
What do you see as the main issues facing the fresh produce industry in Poland at the moment and how are you tackling them?
Eryka: The hot summer this year has caused real problems for us, as it has created a real lack of variety with some of Poland’s most popular vegetables. I am actively working with new, but trusted growers, to help fill this void.
Adam: As Eryka has already said the blistering hot summer where temperatures reached 35˚C this year, has meant a real shortage in some vegetables – particularly potatoes and large onions. In the wholesale market there are also extra problems with supermarkets slashing their prices, and my customers need to lower the prices too. To alleviate this issue, we approach wholesale market customers and supermarkets customers in a way that suits their particular needs. Rather than treating all our customers in exactly the same way, we treat them as individuals and so offer each sector something completely different, according to their requirements.
What do you believe Rush can offer your customers that other fresh produce companies cannot?
Eryka and Adam: Our international network of offices translates into our customers having an infinite variety of fresh produce available 365 days a year, delivered at the right price, the right quality and at the right time.