The history of Farm Frites Poland Dwa and general information about the company and the nature of the business.
After an intensive feasibility studies there was acquired in December 1993 a farm of 4000 ha of arable land from the former state-owned farms (PGR) in the communities Damnica and Glowczyce. The main target for the farm was to produce high quality raw material for the factory (Farm Frites Poland SA), which was built in 1994 in Lebork.
The farming company Farm Frites Poland Dwa (Dwa means '2' in the Polish language) belongs to two Dutch companies Aviko and Farm Frites where both are 50% shareholders.
The main reason for starting an own farm was the poor availability of suitable raw material for the production of French fries. In spite of the fact that Poland is the fourth potato producer in the world, the available raw material in Poland was neither of preferred varieties that would be suitable for processing into French fries and nor of sufficient quality. The varieties available in Poland were always used for direct consumption, starch or flake processing, and could not be used foe production of French fries. The breeding work in the French fries and chips processing varieties started only in late 90ties of the 20th century. As breeding a new variety lasts to 15-25 years, first results are to be expected at the beginning of the 21st century.
To cover the transition period Farm Frites Poland Dwa started importing high quality seed material from Holland, Germany and Scotland after receiving a yearly special import permit from the Polish ministry of Agriculture. The cultivated varieties are still being breeded. Some of cultivated varieties were registered in Poland by Farm Frites Poland Dwa.
On the farm of approximately 3500 hectares (togther with lease) Farm Frites Poland Dwa grows yearly 950 hectares potatoes in a 4-year crop rotation with cereals (winter wheat, barley and rye), rapeseed, grass and maize. The farm employs yearly 67 employees and approximately another 50 on temporary contracts for the periods of planting, irrigating and harvesting.
After investments in the soil quality by improving the pH level of the soil and improving the soil structure, the average yield from one hectare of potatoes is now at the level of 47 ton per ha, where the country average is below 20,7 ton per ha. This is achieved by using high quality seed matrial, irrigating the fields in dry periods and using the optimum fertiliser level and sprayings to protect the crop from possible potato diseases.
As the farm is not big enough to grow the total needs of the factory, 170,000 ton per annum, another 4,000 ha are contracted in the region starting in the west of Poland and ending in the Zulawy region (east of Gdansk) . and also there have been contracted small areas near Poznań and Kalisz for early potatoes. In total over 70 contract growers are covering the 5,000 ha area of potatoes. Farm Frites Poland Dwa has its own potato specialists to consult contract growers and is working together with the Polish advisory station (ODR).
Farm Frites has in total 60,000 ton of high technology potato stores. Those stores were built in the first year of Farm Frites activity (1994) and give enough space for potatoes of Farm Frites Poland Dwa and several contract growers. Another 60,000 – 70,000 ton of potatoes are stored at newly built or adapted buildings of contract growers. With the total of 130,000 ton of potato stores it is possible to keep the factory running on potatoes 12 months per year.
In late 90ties of 20th century together with Polish breeding stations Farm Frites started a research project to find a suitable French fry Polish variety. Farm Frites has its own trial field in Poland with a big number of varieties from both Polish and Dutch breeders, with the target to find a Polish variety suitable for commercial potato production. Together with the factory plans this would give lots of opportunities for Polish potato varieties.
History of the company