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Ukraine – Poland. Technical grain in Poland. What you need to know. What is techinche grain

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Part of the Ukrainian grain was to go to Poland as so-called technical grain. – It’s not like the customs officer came up with it himself, but he had to get some tips on how to deal with the goods – said Dr. Hab. Monika Stanny, professor at the Institute of Rural Development and Agriculture of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She emphasized that it had to be “explained and drilled”. – There is no such category of grain. This is, as I understand it, a grain that is useless – pointed out on TVN24 Radosław Iwański, editor-in-chief of the “Farmer” magazine. Below we write what we know so far about “technical grain”.

The convention was held on Saturday PIS concerning agriculture, during which an announcement was made of the general purchase of grain, “which today is in silos”, with an additional payment, “so that the minimum price is at least PLN 1,400”.

– We do not have any regulations, for now there are words that came from the rulers. These are still just promises. It is very strange that for only months nothing happened and suddenly, overnight, there are great solutions and great opportunities – commented in “You get up and know” on TVN24, dr hab. Monika Stanny, professor at the Institute of Rural Development and Agriculture of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

General purchase of grain

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The expert drew attention to the problems with the implementation of the announcement of general purchase of grain due to full silos. – I do not think it is possible, because there is no place to collect this grain, there is no idea where to sell the grain – which is currently in Polish warehouses – because there are no developed transport corridors, and this is basis to get rid of this grain – she emphasized.

Stanny spoke of what she considered to be the “optimal solution”. – In a sense, this grain can be used for energy purposes, for biofuels, for the spirits industry, but it is a drop in this ocean of needs – she noted.

The expert pointed out that why buy grain instead of burning it right away, the expert noted, the rulers decided to send a message that is very – in its narrative – supporting the village. – Such a narrative to burn grain is not ethically and morally acceptable even for us, so it seems to me that even if such processes take place, they will not be quite official – Stanny pointed out.

As she emphasized, “certainly a place for this grain must be created.” – There is a lot of work ahead of the Polish government in negotiations, primarily with the European Union, so that it can help – assessed the representative of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

At the same time, she reminded that the abolition of customs duties on goods from Ukraine is in force until June European Union launched in May last year. However, the elimination of tariffs may be extended. “If nothing has happened in 10 months, it doesn’t mean that nothing is going to happen. It is necessary to negotiate with both the European Union and the Ukrainian side, the expert emphasized.

How did grain from Ukraine get to Poland?

Dr. hab. Monika Stanny also talked about how grain from Ukraine was sent to Poland. – There are actually two ways – or there is the so-called final clearance, i.e. the Ukrainian entrepreneur declares that the grain goes to Poland and according to the statistics of the Central Statistical Office, over 3 million tons went to Poland – she explained.

The second path is transit. – It’s not like the grain just rolls in, just like we, as people, cross the border, because it is Schengen zone. No, a declaration is also filled out, a form is filled out, the so-called destination is defined, where the transport is to go – Stanny pointed out.

As she added, security is also taken. – It is a kind of form of a deposit, and if grain enters Poland, it immediately has a destination, where it is to go. If this grain intended for transit has been left in Poland, it means that someone has broken the law – said the expert. In her opinion, it needs to be “explained and drilled”.

How did “technical grain” get to Poland?

It would mean that this is how the so-called technical grain came to Poland. – We can talk about state institutions here, we should even – stressed Stanny, noting that it is necessary to explain “how, for example, customs officers approached this grain, how they qualified this grain, whether as consumer or grain, or maybe other so-called today we call technical grain.

– It seems to me, according to my logic, that it is not that the customs officer came up with it himself, but he must have received some instructions on how to deal with the goods – assessed Stanny.

Where could the “technical grain” end up?

Last week, “Rzeczpospolita” reported that the so-called technical grain from Ukraine was sold as Polish food to the largest flour producers in the country.

“The victims are three companies from the group of the largest domestic mills, which bought wheat declared as Polish from companies near Hrubieszów. In fact, they were sold Ukrainian grain, which entered Poland as technical, so intended for burning or pelleting” – we could read in the article. From September to November 2022, companies bought 1,025 tons of wheat, not knowing it came from Ukraine.

The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Rzeszów has launched an investigation into irregularities in the import of Ukrainian grain to Poland. A team of investigators has been appointed in this prosecutor’s office to investigate all cases of irregularities.

Where did the name “technical grain” come from?

Radosław Iwański, editor-in-chief of “Farmer” said on TVN24 that “there is no such category of grain” as the so-called technical grain. – This is, as I understand it, grain that is useless, neither suitable for grazing cattle, nor absolutely suitable for processing into flour and for people to eat it – he emphasized. In his opinion, “it was invented on account of what has happened, what we have experienced over the past few months.”

Krzysztof Gwiazda, President of the Management Board of the Polish Association of Grain and Milling Industry Employers, in an interview with the industry portal portalspozywczy.pl pointed out that until recently the term “technical grain” did not exist in our industry dictionary.

– I suspect that it was invented by several companies importing grain from Ukraine, probably so that they could avoid checks and waiting at the Polish-Ukrainian border. Crossing the border, formally it was supposed to be “technical” grain, i.e., as I understand it, not intended for food or fodder purposes. Consumable grain is subject to sanitary control, and feed grain is subject to veterinary control, declaring the technical purpose probably resulted in the lack of such controls – assessed Gwiazda.

Is “technical grain” dangerous to health?

The president of the Polish Association of Grain and Milling Industry Employers pointed out that “cereals, apart from fodder and consumption, are used for the production of bioethanol (mainly corn) – although here, as a result of the technological process, apart from alcohol, the so-called DDGS, i.e. feed material for animal feeding, is obtained” . – I can also imagine the use of cereals for the production of packaging materials, adhesives, polishing pastes, paints, as well as in the cosmetics or pharmaceutical industry, but the consumption for these purposes is marginal – Gwiazda said in an interview with portalspozywczy.pl.

The star did not want to prejudge that grain defined as “technical” is, for example, contaminated and thus dangerous to health. – (…) I can imagine that batches of this grain meet all quality standards for consumption grain, and detailed tests of certified laboratories confirm that it meets the legal health requirements. Declaring this grain as technical at the border could be a way to avoid downtime and queues for sanitary clearance, he pointed out.

Main photo source: Leszek Szymanski/PAP

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