Minks are to stay

Recently, the Minister of Agriculture Jan Ardanowski has informed in the media about the withdrawal of his department from a controversial idea of imposing a ban on fur animal breeding. This ends a two-year survival struggle of the fur sector.

One of people deeply involved in lobbing for keeping this so much important sector of agriculture is Daniel Żurek, the Managing Director at Futrex Sp. z o.o. based
in Żdżary near Goleniów.

‘Few people know that the Polish poultry, fish processing and fur industries are connected vessels, since fur animals eat hundreds of thousands tons of slaughter house by-products every year. Otherwise those by-products would have to be disposed-off adding to the operational cost and polluting the environment’,
said Daniel Żurek after the announcement of the decision by the Ministry
of Agriculture. ‘Poland is the largest poultry producer in Europe, and the industry is still growing and entering new markets where the traditional slaughter of animals is required. Still several months ago, there was a hand full of people who believed
that attacks by pseudo-ecologists on the Polish fur industry was an attempt to stop the development of the Polish poultry sector by increasing the waste disposal cost
of for the latter. The ban on traditional slaughter, which was included in the same draft law, was not a coincidence. I wondered many time why Poles could not see that Poland is not only a partner but a competitor on the global market. The closure
of shipyards, loss of markets for Polish sugar, Polish tobacco, ban on producing ‘foie gras’, and the ban on traditional slaughter several years ago – was it all just
a coincidence? Or the attempt to push Poland out of global markets? The ban on fur animal breeding in Poland would cause influx of animal origin by-products
on the Polish market. Western waste disposal companies, having 90% stake
of the Polish disposal market, would enjoy a monopolistic position and dictate prices for slaughter waste collection. Thus, it would be possible for them to control
the price for Polish poultry and fish. This could lead to the increase in the price
for poultry and fish in Poland and deprive Poland of its main competitive advantage of an attractive price while fighting for global markets. Moreover, it would mean mass layoffs for tens of thousands people and a number of companies would go bankrupt. Fortunately for Poland, the government has not let pseudo-ecologists
to mesmerise them, although the latter contracted several experts trying to show
a false picture of Polish fur farms in particular, and the Polish agriculture in general. We believe that the concentration of the Polish government on harmonising top standards in animal breeding and more intensive inspections are a very good direction of activity. Polish breeder organisations will support the government
as regards the introduction of top breeding standards and eliminating those few farms which do not meet the standards.

In the County of Goleniów, fur animal breeding is one of driving forces for its economic development. The sector has been in operation for 27 years providing over one thousand full time jobs. Moreover, also the Goleniów Industrial Park can thrive thanks to the sector. The GIP is home to many company related to the sector. Those include NAFA, HG Poland Norpol, and in the County of Goleniów, there are Futrex, Poland Fur Production, Joni Mink, JJ Pol, E Adamski, Bono Fur Farm and many more.

Goleniów is a very good example of good cooperation with the fur sector with due care of the general public interests. Fortunately, the authorities have recognised it and avoided adopting populistic views. Proper relations between the local government and companies contribute to economic growth, job creation, diversification and development of alternative (green) energy sources
and the development of rural areas. Such a policy is one of the main factors behind
the extremely low unemployment in Goleniów, which is now below 3%.