AgroUnia protested on Monday in front of the gate of the Anwil production plant, belonging to the PKN Orlen Group. Dozens of people were against the rising prices of fertilizers. The organization demands a meeting with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and announces further protests in the event of refusal.
– Today we symbolically block this nitrogen plant in Włocławek – said AgroUnia leader Michał Kołodziejczak in front of one of the gates of the Anwil plant, belonging to the PKN Orlen Group. – Let me start by saying that Law and Justice is not a representative of the Polish countryside. Jarosław Kaczyński is not a man who represents the interests of Polish farmers. He lied to everyone on Saturday, saying that PiS represents the Polish countryside. Today PiS, without interfering with what the companies of the State Treasury are doing – and they are the ones who rule – shows that the Polish countryside can be robbed – he said.
Before Anwil, several dozen people gathered to protest against the rising prices of fertilizers. Kołodziejczak said that the price of nitrogen fertilizers increased up to five times in the last month.
– It’s a scandal. It is killing Polish agriculture. And then it is killing access to the production of Polish food. Today it is materializing what we have been talking about for 3 years. Food production is being killed in Poland. This symbolic blockade is to show that farmers will not be passive and will not look idly at what PiS is doing – added Kołodziejczak.
In his opinion, the high prices of fertilizers show that the Polish state is not functioning and that nothing can do. He announced that further such pickets and blockades would take place without prior notice to the nitrogen plants.
Later, together with representatives of other organizations (including Self-Defense, Agricultural Solidarity, and agricultural circles), he hung the union banners on the factory gate.
– We do it as it used to be at the gate to the shipyard in Gdańsk – said the leader of AgroUnii. In his opinion, the current situation with the price of fertilizers proves that analysts employed in state-owned companies are unsuitable for their work, because they did not anticipate the turmoil on the market.
PiS on “7 matters for the Polish countryside”
During Saturday’s PiS convention in Przysucha, PiS president, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Agriculture Minister Grzegorz Puda presented proposals for the Polish countryside and farmers.
The most important “7 issues for the Polish countryside” include: subsidies above the EU average for small and medium-sized enterprises up to 50 ha, retirement without having to sell the farm, a new crop insurance system for farmers. Moreover, it is 15 thousand. PLN for the construction of a retention reservoir – without unnecessary formalities, free market space for a farmer in the city, PLN 4.5 billion for the reconstruction of Polish processing, as well as an effective fight against ASF and reconstruction of pig production.
Kaczyński assured in his speech that PiS is a representative of the Polish countryside. – We are proud of it, we are proud of this honor – he emphasized.
Anwil: plant lockdown by unprecedented action
In a statement issued in connection with the protest, Anwil recalled that his plant in Włocławek was operating in the so-called continuous traffic, which means production 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, while – according to the regulations – there is a certain maximum amount of fertilizers that can be stored in warehouses, therefore they are regularly removed from the plant and delivered to customers .
“Today’s blockade of the Anwil production plant organized by agricultural organizations is an unprecedented action and carries many risks and consequences. We are facing the inability to accept the products manufactured in the company and disrupting the normal operation of the plant” – the company noted in the Monday communiqué.
Anwil explained that if it is not possible to collect products manufactured in its production plant, the current capacity of the warehouses there will be exhausted after approx. 12 hours. The company noted that “such action may lead to a production halt, which will limit the availability of fertilizers in the retail market and will result in losses of several million every day”.
“The stoppage of production is also a huge risk for the company’s 1,600 employees, who care about the continuity of production and process safety every day,” recalled Anwil, recalling that his plant belongs to the heavy chemicals sector. “But what is most important – in fact, the blockade directly affects Polish farmers themselves, who will not receive the product necessary in their daily work” – emphasized the company in its position.
And she added: “We are accused of not delivering products to the domestic market, and meanwhile we keep repeating that in the current macroeconomic situation, when more and more international companies in the fertilizer industry are forced to limit or even stop their production lines, we are implementing 100% our contractual obligations and we do not limit production. ” As reported by Anwil, how many percent does this company sell to the domestic market and how much to export? during a meeting with trade unions on October 7 – “it is 70 percent for the domestic market, 30 percent for foreign markets.”
“For us, food security is the most important thing, in the situation of today’s blockade, we see a great threat to it,” said Anwil. The company assured that it understood the situation of farmers and added that the “current state of affairs” was also “very unfavorable” for it as a fertilizer producer. “Fertilizer prices are invariably shaped primarily on the basis of the constantly growing prices of natural gas on the international market, which accounts for over 70% of production costs, especially nitrogen fertilizers” – stated in the report.
AgroUnia demands a meeting with the prime minister
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, AgroUnia stressed that Anwil’s message was “full of lies and slander.” “The farmers arrived in front of the plant for a symbolic blockade. After 9.00 they stood in front of the gate, before 11.00 they went to pre-agreed talks. At the door they found out that there would be no talks. The spokeswoman informed the gathered that there was only an announcement. We do not agree to manipulations of a subsidiary of the State Treasury “- we read in the AgroUnii release.
The representatives of the organization wrote that the protest did not block the plant and not a single vehicle. “There are 7 gates, the protest lasted before one” – he added. They also noted that the talks had not been broken by farmers who had waited for several hours for the door to be opened. “It is not true that the protest disrupted the normal functioning of the plant” – they indicated.
In a letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Agrounia wrote that “fertilizer prices must be normalized”.
“Today, the farmers concerned about the situation were treated like criminals. In front of the Anwil fertilizer plant in Włocławek, security guards with truncheons and policemen were sent to us. We were refused talks that were planned. The Anwil company committed slander and manipulation. we read in the letter to the head of government. AgroUnia demands talks with the government about “giant increases” in fertilizer prices. He argues that “this situation poses a threat to the country’s food security”.
“We request a meeting. Please schedule an appointment. Lack of a meeting will result in protests,” concluded the representatives of the organization.
Main photo source: PAP / Tytus Żmijewski