Axzon aims high
Right now, a fundamental shift in focus is slowly taking place in Axzon. We are changing our focus and strategy from being a producer of bulk agricultural products towards being a producer of high quality food products that meets the demands of the consumers. As always, the aim is to be the best at what we do. We want to be the world’s leader in producing food in a sustainable and self-sufficient manner. But while we have always been known as an agriculture business, we are now increasing our focus on the end product – the food. To make this shift and still live up to the highest standards possible there are four top priorities in Axzons production: Sustainability, food safety, traceability and animal welfare.
In terms of achieving our goals and maintaining the same high-quality across our widely spread area of production, it is paramount to have a common set of standards. Axzon Head of R&D Bjarne Vest works with the development and compliance every day, and he explains how significant the localization of our production units impacts the standard of production as well as the products:
»As Axzon is spreading more and more cross borders and cultures, it was decided in 2016 to find a common internationally known and respected certification to document the food safety in The Axzon Group. In Axzon we chose the GlobalG.A.P Certification and we are currently working on getting all of our Agricultural organizations in compliance with the GlobalG.A.P standards«
GlobalG.A.P stands for Global Good Agricultural Practice and is an esteemed and well-known food safety certification which is commonly used in the food production business. As of now the GlobalG.A.P project in Axzon consists of various practical projects from replacing specific floor types to making sure the minerals used in the fields fits the GG standards.
Living up to the GlobalG.A.P is also a part of the current shift in Axzon, where we are moving from being just a well-known agriculture brand to an increased focus on Axzon as a self-sufficient food producer. This shift means an increased focus on the ability to track our products from field to fork:
»When branding yourself as a self-sufficient food producer, you take responsibility for the entire production chain – and this naturally means you have to promise the costumers a high level of traceability through all parts of the production. Actually, being able to document which pig the meat comes from and on which field and how the grain that the pig has eaten was produced«
Bjarne Vest explains the importance of finding the exact right traceability-system based on advanced technology, allowing Axzon to document all steps in the production in a 100 % creditable way – a project that is currently running between the R&D and IT departments in Axzon.
Altogether Axzons current areas of focus in the production area have been collected under the project Axzon Quality Management and Strategy which covers both food safety, traceability and animal welfare in Axzon. A common goal is that it, as a minimum, must live up to Danish or EU standards. Bjarne Vest emphasizes:
»The Danish production and welfare standards are known as some of the strictest set of rules in the world and therefore this is worth aiming for, no matter where we base our production. Axzon is fundamentally based on Danish agricultural traditions and technologies, which means that we know that it is possible to combine an intensive production with a strict set of requirements and still create top production results«
Right now, the work with GlobalG.A.P compliance and finding the right traceability-software is at full speed and in the middle of July we achieved our first major goal in the GlobalG.A.P project when our Ukrainian division Danosha passed the first external GlobalG.A.P audit.
Our Quality Officer Katarzyna Tarka has been working intensely to reach this milestone and she is looking forward for the time to come where more of our departments will be audited: »During the harvest period all arable departments will be audited and soon also our farms in Poland. The animal audits will begin in Russia in the end of summer and Ukraine and Poland will follow in the autumn«. For Katarzyna Tarka and her closest colleagues the work with the GlobalG.A.P project has been, and still is, huge and with projects of this size and importance you need everyone in the organization to pitch in:
»Thanks to the great commitment of many involved employees around in the Axzon organization, who are working on adapting our companies to the requirements of the GlobalG.A.P standards, we are on the way to succeeding and obtain the certificates at the end of this year on the planned locations«
The Axzon Quality Management and Strategy is a major part of preparing the entire Axzon organization for the planned IPO entry in 2018.