“We often buy geese in January,” explains Managing Director Wioletta Wenklar who owns 95% of Polfood. “They then grow free-range during the year which is one of our important criteria; animals must be reared as humanely as possible. This also ensures a high-quality meat. In Germany, goose is especially popular; the St. Martin’s Day goose is a favourite dish, and of course, goose is also a feature of the Christmas dining table. It is a historical thing. Polish goose farmers like to tell the story of geese which, in the 18th century, walked from Poland to Germany. I don’t know if it is true, but the fact is that it is a tradition to sell Polish goose to Germany.”
Polfood specializes in fresh poultry, beef and pork which it imports from Poland and sells to the hotel and gastronomy trade, wholesalers and the food industry in general. The company markets geese under its own brand, Gold-Gans.
“The geese are slaughtered and then plucked,” underlines Ms. Wenklar. “They are not reared for use in Fois Gras – in Poland this is strictly forbidden.” In addition, Polfood has developed its own range of products including leg and breast joints roasted in their own juices.
“We developed the recipes in partnership with the producer and they are exclusive to us,” states the Managing Director. “We are also responsible for the presentation of our products. The eyes eat before the mouth, and our high-value packaging provides a visual feast.”
The company motto is ‘produced today – delivered tomorrow’. Polfood uses its own vehicles for delivery and also has contracts with reliable logistics partners so that its products reach its customers quickly and in a supremely fresh condition. Its concern for the environment does not stop with animal welfare.
“We use software to plan optimal routes and track our deliveries to ensure our drivers use the shortest possible routes and reduce CO2 emissions as far as possible. This applies, whether the order is for one pallet or a full load,” stresses Ms. Wenklar. 70% of its products are delivered within Germany, with the UK, Austria and the Netherlands as well as Asia forming its export market.
As a result of its success, both Focus and the Financial Times have recently recognized Polfood as one of the fastest growing companies in Europe. The company is also very aware of the constantly changing market, and is quick to adapt to new trends.
“Over recent years there has been a noticeably stronger demand for poultry products,” notes Ms. Wenklar. “This has been matched by a decrease in the demand for pork products. People are also more aware of what they are eating and how it was produced; ethical treatment of animals is a priority.”
The ability to listen to customers is one of Polfood’s strengths, and new products which meet the changing demands are already in development. Even the packaging is under constant review to ensure it complies with the latest visual and environmental trends.
Originally from Poland, Ms. Wenklar has a strong understanding of the Polish culture and has built very strong relationships with all the company’s meat suppliers. Product quality, respect for animals and logistics optimization will remain at the heart of Polfood’s philosophy. A key strategy for the future is the expansion of its export market.
“Asian customers are very interested in our products, particularly poultry. We therefore see strong potential for growth in this market,” reveals Ms. Wenklar. In the meantime, she will continue to take pride in the success of her company in a sector which is predominantly a man’s world.