The Group commenced its operations in Poland in 1994. The Group now owns approximately 1,600 hectares of freehold land and leases approximately 1,100 hectares of land in Poland where its operations are focused primarily on the production of arable crops including winter and spring wheat, OSR and sugar beet.
The value of the Polish freehold land bank has appreciated significantly since acquisition and a number of potential ancillary opportunities have arisen for the use of this land including wind farm development.
The Polish land bank
The farming operations are undertaken through a number of subsidiary companies and are managed from the Group's Polish headquarters in Swincz, near Gdansk. The Group's Polish land bank is comprised of 5 major farms blocks.
The Polish farming operations have historically focused on production of arable crops including potatoes, sugar beet, winter and spring wheat and OSR. The Group has ceased farming potatoes in Poland with potato farming being carried out in Ukraine. Going forward farming in Poland will focus on winter and spring wheat, OSR and sugar beet.
The Polish crop plantings and yields over the past five years are shown in the table below:
|Cropped area |
(tonnes per hectares)
|Total land under crop||2,510||2,449||2,440||4,442||2,445|
Source: CFG Management Information
The Group's production yields are influenced by weather, application of inputs and ability to harvest at optimum times. In 2010 poor winter weather affected the yield achieved on OSR.
The customers for the Group's Polish crops are primarily large commercial processors or buyers
The Group has approximately 24,000 tonnes of storage in Poland, with 12,000 tonnes reserved for cereals and 12,000 for general storage purposes. Drying plants are located at 3 of the farms operating at a total capacity of 850 tonnes per 24 hour period.