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The Warsaw Voice » Other » November 21, 2002
FARMING
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A Grain of Truth
November 21, 2002 By Barbara Deręgowska   
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Witold Duchiewicz, owner of EuroFarm in Z±bkowice ¦l±skie, talks to Barbara Deręgowska

How did your company become one of the largest producers of corn in Europe?

I have operated the family farm with my wife Jolanta since 1981 and in January 1989 we decided to set up the EuroFarm company, based on the most modern technology and equipment. We recognized that success in corn cultivation would be ensured if we adopted the appropriate production organization from sowing until harvest. We started to test various methods. In connection with this, I visited many farms in Europe, the United States and Argentina. Cooperation with the American Pioneer company, a world leader in seed production, was very helpful. I started to learn this technology in 1985. It always ensures profit from growing corn for grain. Generally, soil content analyses, appropriate fertilization, the selection of appropriate sowing dates and seed varieties, effective pest control etc. are very important in cultivation. The organization of grain transportation from the fields to grain elevators, which should be equipped with drying plants, is also essential.

Now, our share in total domestic corn production is around 15 percent. The corn is stored in modern storage facilities whose capacity exceeds 100,000 tonnes. We also deal with the purchase and contracting of other types of grain and safflower seed. We produce new-generation fodder and concentrates and super concentrates for pigs, cattle, poultry, rabbits, and chinchilla etc. We also breed piglets and our porkers bring an excellent slaughter yield.

We are the sole representative of the Italian-owned Pedrotti company that sells eco-friendly, stationary and mobile dryers fueled by natural gas or fuel oil. They are used for drying corn, grain and safflower seed.

In 1999, we offered a new service on the market: "the solution to a wet harvest." The service ("Rent a Dryer") involves drying the customer's crop on their own farm with the use of Pedrotti dryers. The service became very popular in subsequent harvest seasons and in 2001 was awarded the European Medal in the second edition of the competition. It is the only service on the Polish market which in Europe is regarded one of the best in its category. It enables you to minimize transportation costs and the loss of dried grain because drying can take place on the field or in the place where the grain is stored.

Last year, we installed new-generation Brock grain elevators purchased in the United States. Their total capacity amounts to 25,000 tonnes. They meet all the strict European Union norms. We have the exclusive rights to their distribution in Poland.
In April this year, we launched Central Europe's most modern corn mill whose capacity amounts to 300 tonnes daily. We produce groat and flour there. The products meet European Union norms and are purchased by breweries, producers of corn flakes, snacks and gluten-free food. We set up a new company, Euro-Corn, in the Invest Park Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone. The company will produce gluten-free food and a wide range of "Corn flex" corn flakes and snacks. We have been holding negotiations with a few leaders in state-of-the-art technology. This will ensure the appropriate quality and market success for the venture.

We also provide training and counseling services related to the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies in the area of plant cultivation, grain, safflower seed and corn drying and storage as well as the production of new-generation fodder and environment-friendly farm animal breeding. After many meetings with farmers across the world, we have developed the innovative Complex Corn Service (CCS), a technology which ensures profit.

EuroFarm is the winner of many prestigious awards and distinctions. Which of them gave the greatest satisfaction to you and your employees? What are the company's plan's for the near future?

All the awards confirm that the company, in the present difficult times, is useful on the market. This gives us the inspiration to work consistently for its expansion. We are especially satisfied with the European Medals awarded to us by the Committee for European Integration. We received, for example, the European Medal in the product category in the third edition of the competition for our ecological fodder and concentrates. Spring of this year we received a fourth-edition European Medal for the Complex Corn Service.

We want to increase our share in food processing through cooperation with new partners, including foreign companies. EuroFarm will also produce Corn-Beer, a type of beer brewed from corn using an original recipe. We are also thinking of new ventures in which the latest world technologies will be used. We plan to build a plant for the waste-free production of corn-derived ethanol and high-quality fodder and a plant for the production of a starch material granulate from corn starch. Such materials are used, for instance, to manufacture fully biodegradable packaging which reverts in about 3-6 months into water and carbon dioxide as a result of fermentation processes. We are also holding talks concerning the export of our products to the European Union and the CIS countries.

Our grain storage and drying facilities have been regularly expanded. At present, we are preparing to offer the construction of grain elevators with complete infrastructure throughout Poland. We will be supporting farmers in their efforts to establish producers' groups and to acquire finance for this sort of venture. Last year, we also began construction of the comfortable Przylesie housing estate in Kamieniec Z±bkowicki with apartments for the elderly who will be offered comprehensive social and medical services.
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