ICNF 2015 - 2nd International Conference on Natural Fibers
Globalisation as the main determinant for the market of fibrous plants in Poland
General Director of the Institute of Natural Fibres & Medicinal Plants, Poland
Prof. Dr. Grzegorz Spychalski graduated from the Department of Animal Husbandry at the University of Agriculture with master’s degree in 1983. He earned a doctor’s degree in agricultural sciences in 1992. Eight years later he became an assistant professor in agricultural economics at the Faculty of Agricultural Economics of Warsaw University of Life Sciences in 2000.
Prof. Dr. Grzegorz Spychalski has hold the positions of Director of the Institute for Economics and Management at the University of Technology in Koszalin, Inspector of IRS, Head of Chamber of Agriculture in Szczecin, Director of Agency of Agricultural Market in Szczecin, Head of Agency of Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture both in the regional office in Szczecin and the Central Office in Warsaw.
Between 1989 and 1994 he gained international experience working in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Sweden. He lectured at the Queen’s University in Belfast and Stockholm University. In 2006 President of Poland appointed Grzegorz Spychalski as a professor in economic sciences.
Since 1st January 2009 Prof. Dr. Grzegorz Spychalski has been holding the position of Head of Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants.
Professor was a specialist of UN-UNDP in the aid programme for developing countries, has been a lecturer in the programme titled “Agricultural market”, a national expert in the training programme of the Danish government for teachers of economy and an expert preparing the work on “Investments in rural areas”. He participated in debates on the future of the EU as an expert.
He specializes in economics of the food sector, social-economic policy and transformation of economic systems. He has published more than 200 scientific publications. Currently he studies the effect of various factors on the economic growth and entrepreneurial development with special reference to the effect of intellectual capital under the conditions of global economy.
Professor is also active as a lecturer and tutor. At the beginning of his career his area of interest included economics and organization of agricultural enterprises and information models in high-volume animal farms. Later he focused on teaching the basics of economy and lectures in economic policy, organization and management, macroeconomics, market analysis and competitiveness strategies.
Globalization process implies creation of an integrated and liberalized market of consumption and investment goods within international political and social cooperation. Actions of global organizations including World Trade Organization (WTO) and of enterprises active in many countries have led to creating of specific conditions, also for the raw materials from agricultural production.
The balance of branch markets such as fibrous plants is determined during the process of adjusting global demand and supply and not within domestic or regional markets.
Polish market of fibrous plants is therefore shaped by global factors, yet this has been true for the last 25 years after the economic system transformation i.e. from centrally controlled economy to the economy open to the world.
Before 1989 flax industry was state-owned, which processed the plant material coming from flax and hemp farms of area more than 130 thousand hectares. The system transformations caused the collapse of retting plants and decrease of profitability of cultivation of fibrous plants. As a result processing of bast fibres is concentrated mainly in Asia and Poland maintains only its strong position in breeding of high quality cultivars of flax and hemp.
Currently, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants in Poznan and Polish Chamber of Flax and Hemp are preparing a plan for revitalization of flax cultivation and the Polish government has decided to introduce direct payments to cultivation of fibrous plants, what will increase profitability of farmers. The demand for plant material from flax and hemp is not limited to textile industry but includes also construction and chemical industries, energy production, food production and human and veterinary medicine.
Flaxseed oil, essential oils, and biologically active substances have become products and semi-products in the area of dietary supplements, medicinal products and cosmetics. Linen wound-dressing might soon revolutionize the market of dressing products and hemp straw is material for fuel production.
Alternative applications of fibrous raw materials and seeds of these plants as well as revival of the luxury segment of the textile market combined with innovations in cultivation and processing lay foundations for development of this group of industrial crops in Poland and the whole EU. However, this requires establishment of economic integration groups connecting farmers, processing plants and distribution systems within the global market chain.