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IFMA 19 Congress, the 19th conference of International Farm Management Association, was held at Warsaw University of Life Sciences between 21st and 26th of July 2013. The topic of the Congress was Transforming agriculture – between policy, science and the consumer.
40 years of tradition
IFMA Congresses have been organized for over 40 years all over the world. The meetings take place biannually, in various countries and on various continents. It is thus possible for the participants to gain knowledge about farming issues specific of different regions of the world. The conferences are attended by hundreds of participants from numerous countries. They include representatives of the agricultural production sector: farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs and scientists specializing in agriculture; politicians involved in decision-making processes on state and international levels; representatives of companies which provide farmers with resources indispensable for efficient farming, as well as delegates of companies dealing with processing and distribution of agricultural produce.
The host country – Poland
Poland was the host country of IFMA Congress 2013. Apart from attending the plenary sessions and listening to talks given by Polish and foreign presenters, the participants were invited to Polish farms and companies from the agricultural sector. Additionally, the Guests were encouraged to visit R&D and advisory institutes, whose primary activity is supporting agricultural manufacturers in their work. The Congress Delegates were also welcomed on the premises of Grupa Azoty Zakłady Azotowe “PUŁAWY”.
The subject matter of the Congress
The discussions at the Congress focused on a number of key issues. The first one were the modifications of EU Agricultural Policy guidelines, another were the relations between changes in the natural environment and agricultural production. The Delegates also wondered whether the existence of the so-called “small farms” makes economic sense in the current situation of global agriculture, and what the role of those small farms is in the changing world economy. The fourth topic was the transfer of knowledge between R&D institutions and agricultural entrepreneurs, a practice which helps improve the efficiency of agricultural production. Moreover, bearing in mind the growing world population, the participants looked into global food safety. Taking the opportunity to present the Polish perspective on agriculture, the organizers took care to familiarize the Congress participants with the situation on Polish farms, especially in the context of changes which have taken place in the past 25 years and the impact of the Polish access to the EU structures.
The general partner of IFMA Congress organized at Warsaw University of Life Sciences was Grupa Azoty Zakłady Azotowe “PUŁAWY”.
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Azoty Group “PUŁAWY”, a member of Fertilizers Europe, an association of leading fertilizer manufacturers, is keen on the ideas of sustainable development and responsible business. Accordingly, since 2008 the company has been implementing a program called “Product Care”.
Betting on quality
“Product Care” is a comprehensive tool for monitoring of the whole process of production and product distribution. The program is based on international standards and laws regarding quality. Consequently, the members of Fertilizers Europe, including Azoty Group “PUŁAWY”, are leaders in the field of responsible production of fertilizers.
“Care” in “PUŁAWY”
The decision to implement the program was an important step in the functioning of the enterprise. “Product Care” obliges “PUŁAWY” to guarantee that the whole process of manufacturing fertilizers, from the moment of gaining resources and components to the distribution of the finished product needs to be neutral for the safety and health of people and the environment.
Participants of “Product Care” program are also subject to certification of the quality of their activities. The first audit in “PUŁAWY” took place in 2008. It was conducted by SGS and resulted in granting of a certificate. Latest audit was done in 2011 by Det Norske Veritas and brought an equally positive result. Experts from Norway confirmed that Azoty Group “PUŁAWY” fulfills all rules of “Product Care” program and all its guidelines have been implemented by the company.
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“PUŁAWY” Company firmly believes in the above rule. Therefore, we are intent on continuing all activities which allow us to develop own manufacturing infrastructure and make production more efficient. As a result, we have become more competitive both on domestic and international market.
Building in Puławy
In the first half of 2012/13 financial year as many as 18 investment procedures were finalized on “PUŁAWY”. In another three, partial acceptances were given to stages worth 160 million PLN. Among those investments were activities aimed at improving the quality of production (new installations of technological lines, assembly of sensors and monitoring systems), at protecting the environment (construction of Installation for Desulfuring Exhaust Fumes and installation for drainage of residue from Biological Waste Treatment Plant) and at improving the quality of customer service (purchase and assembly of a line for printing on foil, bags and containers for RSM® sales network).
Activity in Gdańsk and Chorzów
Modernization activities were also made in “Fosfory” and “Azoty-Adipol”. In Gdańsk installations for the production of fertilizers and elements of ancillary infrastructure were modernized, and new machinery was bought. In Chorzów a project is in progress called ‘The construction of a plant for technical processing of animal fat and vegetable oils into distilled fatty acids and stearin with capacity of processing 16 000 tonnes of raw resources per year’. The investment budget in “Azoty-Adipol” reached 27,3 million PLN and the planned date of project completion and possible start-up of the plant is Q3 2013.
“PUŁAWY” Company has many more plans than those mentioned. The company Board and Supervisory Board gave the go-ahead for another investment projects in the first half of 2012/13 financial year. 11 plans worth 172,5 million PLN in total were approved. General Meeting of Shareholders of “PUŁAWY” gave clearance for four investment projects whose value is 186,2 million PLN.
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China is a partner of strict importance for our business. Our company has been actively present in the Far East for over 10 years, selling caprolactam that we manufacture. The compound is used for the production of polyamide, which is then used to produce e.g. surgical packaging or nylon. Another use of caprolactam is in the automotive factories.
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We are proud to announce another award for our company. During the sixteenth edition of the “Modernization of the Year” competition in the category of industrial – engineering facilities, Pulawy Company received the award for the modernization of the urea installation.