Programme of the field trip

Programme of the field trip

September 8th, 2011

8.00 Departure by bus from parking in front of Gromada Hotel, Plac Powstańcow Warszawy 1
10.00 Arrival to Research Institute of Horticulture, briefing by the Director, Prof. Franciszek Adamicki
10.15-12.00 Visits at selected  laboratories and greenhouses of the Institute
12.15 Departure for the lunch
12.45-13.45 Lunch at Oberża pod Złotym Prosiakiem in Nieborów (midway between Skierniewice and Łowicz)
13.45 Departure to Łowicz
14.00-15.00 Visit at Processing Plant of  the District Dairy Cooperative in Łowicz
15.00           Departure to Warsaw (expected arrival 1t 17.00)

Brief description of the visited entities

Research Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice, Poland, is a governmental R&D organization supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It was established on January 1st, 2011, by merging two research entities with long tradition: the Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture and the Institute of Vegetable Crops. At present it employs 568 people, in that 45 professors, 85 doctors and 62 research assistants.

The  research programme of the Institute covers all areas related to fruit, vegetable, ornamental plant and bee sciences, from basic studies on physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, through biotechnology, creative breeding, protection of genetic resources, agronomy, plant pathology, fruit and vegetable storage and processing, food safety, horticultural engineering, economics and marketing. Due to active extension and implementation programmes and close cooperation with major stakeholders, the Institute has contributed in a large extent to the development of horticultural production in Poland.

Besides research, the Institute laboratories  take part in several governmental programmes on food contamination screening, quality control in organic and integrated production and are doing commercial food analysis (pesticide residue, heavy metals, nitrites/nitrates) for food producers, exporters and wholesalers. The Institute has a number of well equipped laboratories, greenhouses and experimental fields.  Selected laboratories are having certificates, issued by Polish Centre for Accreditation (EA MLA Signatory), of conformation with requirements of the PN-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and has implemented the analytical quality control (AQC)  programme according „Method Validation and Quality Control Procedures for Pesticide Residue Analysis in Food and Feed” (SANCO/2007/3131). In addition the laboratory has certificate of conformation with Good Laboratory Practice according to the Directive 2004/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, issued by Bureau for Chemical Substances and Preparations. It is estimated that the Institute has 40-45% share in commercial food analysis market in Poland.

The Institute actively participates in building European Research Area. Cooperative links have been established with most of the horticultural research centres and clusters in Europe and several joint research project, co-financed by European Commission and other international organisations, were initiated. At present, the Institute is involved in four projects within 7th Framework Programme and in several others within Central European and COST programmes and in bilateral projects financed by respective governments within agreements on cooperation in science and technology. In Poland, the Institute is a coordinator of Centre of Advanced Technologies “AgroTech”, which is a cluster of three universities, two R&D Institutes and four commercial enterprises aiming at developing and implementing innovative technologies in Polish agri-food  industry and of a network „Agroengineering for sustainable development of agri-food industry and rural areas”. It is also a founding member of Polish Food Technology Platform.

Research Institute is also an important teaching and training centre. It is authorized to conduct Ph.D. and postgraduate studies, summer schools and courses. Annually, on average five students receive Ph.D. diplomas, two D.Sc. diplomas (habilitations), and more than 700 students complete postgraduate studies and professional courses.

The District Dairy Cooperative in Łowicz is one of the oldest enterprises of this kind in Poland. Its history starts in 1906, when the first local cooperative and dairy processing plant was established. In 1930 a modern, Stem Dairy Cooperative was established, which in 1936 was renamed as Regional Dairy Cooperative “Promień”.  In 1951 the Cooperative was nationalized and it was operating as state-owned company. In 1957 the Cooperative was re-established.  In 1971 a new cheese processing plant was constructed, with processing capacity 120 thousands litres of milk per day. In 1991 the plant was thoroughly modernised and new processing lines were installed. Since then the Cooperative was quickly expanding. It acquired several smaller dairy cooperatives and now belongs to the largest enterprises of this kind in Poland, with total processing capacity exceeding 1.3 mln litres of milk per day and over 7000 milk suppliers – members of the Cooperative. At present, plants belonging to the company are equipped with modern processing lines for long-life dairy produce (UHT) in cartons, processing lines for the production of portioned creams, coffee milk and lemon juice, processing lines for the production of maturing cheeses in blocks and packed in pieces and slices, processing lines for production of products in PET bottles, cottage cheeses, homogenized cheeses, ferment drinks, butter and powder products.  The products of the Regional Dairy Cooperative Łowicz are sold  under trade names “Łowickie”, “Łowicz”, “Opti fresh”, “Opti life”, “TSM”, “MONA”, “Capriolla”, “Fellada”, and “Łowicki aksamitny”.  More information on the Cooperative is available at
http://www.mleczarnia.lowicz.pl