Ensuring product quality and safety in the value chain
The products and materials produced by the Grupa Azoty Group are sold, inter alia, to food producers and farmers.
The products and materials produced by the Grupa Azoty Group are sold, inter alia, to food producers and farmers. Ensuring their highest quality is therefore of utmost importance as it has a direct impact on the safety and health of the consumers of food products made of crops grown by our customers.
In 2018, there were no incidents of non-compliance with regulations and/or voluntary codes concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services on customers. At the Grupa Azoty Group, we are all committed to building the strength of our brand, realising that the quality of our product and service portfolio is the hallmark of the entire Group and each of its members. We believe that a way to ensure that production continuously satisfies the highest-quality standards is highly-qualified personnel, who can rely on well-proven management systems to discharge their responsibilities. The Group pursues a management policy which guarantees that strategic goals are achieved in reliance on an integrated management system conforming to international standards.
The operating priorities: high quality and care for technical safety and the environment, are effectively monitored. The integrated management system is structured around the principles of: giving priority to customers, reducing environmental losses and the risk of hazards, and working on continuous improvement.
One of the basic principles underlying our operations is responsibility for all activities related to the manufacture of products across the entire supply chain. Therefore, as part of our membership in Fertilizers Europe, we run the Group-wide Product Stewardship programme, based on international regulations and quality standards. Under the programme, all the leading companies of the Grupa Azoty Group are obliged to ensure that their fertilizer products, as well as all raw materials and intermediates used in their production, are processed, transported, stored, distributed and used in a responsible manner, causing no harm to human health and safety or to the natural environment. In 2018, 100% of our key product categories were assessed for their potential impact on consumer health and safety and on the natural environment. The Product Stewardship certificate for the Grupa Azoty Group is valid until 2020.
Food security at Grupa Azoty:
The key document in that area is the Group-wide Grupa Azoty Food Safety Policy. Implementation of this policy is ensured through:
- Ongoing monitoring of the parameters affecting the quality and safety of products,
- Maintaining compliance with high standards of hygiene at the stages of production, storage and distribution,
- Consistently upgrading and improving the production infrastructure and technology,
- Building health and safety awareness among the staff,
- Managing internal and external communication so as to exchange information about hazards to product safety in the food chain.
In 2018, no penalties were imposed on any of the Grupa Azoty Group companies for non-compliance with the laws and regulations regarding the supply and use of products at any stage of their life cycle.
Ensuring safety of our products
Our mission is to “create value for Grupa Azoty and the national economy by delivering safe, useful and innovation-driven chemical products”. “Safe” is the very first adjective we use to describe our products, as safety does indeed come first in all aspects of our business.
The key document governing production safety across the Grupa Azoty Group is the EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) Regulation. We fully comply with its requirement to register manufactured or imported chemical substances and assess their safety for humans and the environment. Under the Regulation the Group companies are required to provide information on the safe use of substances on their own or in mixtures (as part of other products); such information is communicated down the supply chain to downstream users by means of a mandatory document form (material safety data sheet).
All Grupa Azoty Group companies comply with the duty to register manufactured substances, and have prepared and published appropriate material safety data sheets (or equivalent documents) in accordance with the REACH Regulation for all products they place on the market.
We also pay particular attention to ensuring safe transport of manufactured intermediates and products. When transporting particularly hazardous materials, we apply the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR, L'Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises dangereuses par route). With the safety of local communities and the environment in mind, our companies provide support for their trading partners in the event of accidents in transport of hazardous materials. Grupa Azoty, Grupa Azoty Police and Grupa Azoty Puławy are part of the SPOT System of Assistance in Transport of Hazardous Materials, which was established to improve the safety of hazardous materials transport in Poland, and in case of any incidents – to facilitate effective elimination of accident consequences by joint efforts and measures of the national rescue and fire services and the SPOT members.
All companies of the Grupa Azoty Group have the necessary monitoring systems, safeguards and procedures in place to prevent accidents and to contain their consequences. These include preventive plans, production process controls, particularly hazardous work procedures, emergency/accident response plans, monitoring of health and safety at work, operational controls, assessment of compliance of the adopted safety objectives with applicable standards, and storage procedures.
We uniformly mark and provide complete descriptions of products made across all segments of our business. All our packagings bear information about the products they contain (product trade name), manufacturer (name and address) and product weight. In the case of fertilizers, in accordance with the EC Fertilizers Regulation the product information we provide includes designation of fertilizer type, the 'EC Fertilizer' marking (if applicable), content and form of nutrients, as well as directions for use and basic safety precautions. Packaging of hazardous products (substances and mixtures) bears precautionary labels in accordance with the requirements of EC CLP Regulation. If a fertilizer is sold in bulk, an accompanying document is made, containing all the required label elements.
The packaging of feed additives also bears a label compliant with the requirements applicable to feeds and feed additives, containing information on dosage and storage life.
1 Regulation (EC) No 2003/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 relating to fertilizers.
For chemical substances and mixtures classified as hazardous and falling within the scope of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation, the disclosure requirements are broader. Their labels must include a product identifier, hazard pictograms and a signal word, as well as hazard and precautionary statements and storage and transport information.
In 2018, the Grupa Azoty Group reported no cases of non-compliance with the applicable regulations and voluntary codes concerning product information and labelling.
The systems implemented by the Grupa Azoty Group companies include, inter alia:
- Industrial Accident Prevention Programme and High Risk Establishment Notification,
- PN-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 management system (general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories),
- Automotive industry quality management system implemented in accordance with the ISO/TS 16949:2009 standard,
- Management standard compliant with the Fertilizers Europe Product Stewardship programme.
In order to satisfy highest product safety standards and requirements, a system compliant with the requirements of the Codex Alimentarius standard, ISO 22000 and the applicable legal provisions has been implemented and is maintained at all Group companies whose products are sold to the food industry.
Grupa Azoty Puławy received another FSSC 22000 Food Safety System Certiﬁcation, issued for 2018−2020. The auditors checked the entire food-grade carbon dioxide production process. Our production line was audited from the moment crude carbon dioxide is fed into the unit, through the entire purification process, until the tanker is filled and dispatched to the customer after the quality parameters have been confirmed. The carbon dioxide produced in Puławy proved once again to be of the highest quality.