On September 19-20, the Association «Ukrainian Agribusiness Club» and the UCABevent Agency will host the IX International Conference «Large Farm Management Conference» (LFM).
The cross-cutting topic of this year's event is a discussion that has been taking place in Ukraine for several years. Is domestic agribusiness an economic driver which can generate export revenues, lead Ukraine into the leaders in world markets of agrarian products or it is the basis of state policy in the countryside, support for rural areas and its population. Are they two components of one system or mutually exclusive development vectors?
Speakers and panel discussion participants from Ukraine, Brazil, the UK, Estonia and Germany will share their experience and the most successful top managers of the agrarian sector will present their cases of effective management in the current realities.
This year the conference changes format and location - from the five-star hotel in Kiev, the conference moves into the production pavilion of the agroholding. What is the idea of the organizers? We have asked Taras Vysotskyi, General Director of Association «Ukrainian Agribusiness Club» about surprises that are waiting for guests.
Tell us about the concept of the conference «Large Farm Management Conference»
Over the past 10 years, the segment of large companies has clearly emerged in Ukrainian agriculture, and there are some characteristics that distinguish them among other agricultural producers. First of all, they are the leaders of innovations, have a large scale of market presence, access to finance and highly skilled personnel. Innovations aimed at increasing productivity, efficiency, preservation of soil fertility, and sustainable development of agribusiness were initially founded and developed in large companies. Secondly, these companies have a significant effect on the stability of the exchange rate, since they are export-oriented - 70-80% of their products are supplied abroad, which ensures the revenue of a large share of the currency in the country. The agrarian sector is a leader in the economy and they are leaders in the agrarian sector. Thirdly, they regularly finance the development of rural areas.
Large agrarian companies are developing intensively in China, Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan, but Ukrainian agroholdings have unique functions in the country's economy and society. Similar models exist also in Brazil and Argentina. Our agricultural holdings are progressive and open, their shares are quoted on international stock exchanges.
Today, the role of agroholdings is transforming in the world. Ukraine was able to become a leader in spreading knowledge about similar companies, that’s why we organize this event for nine years in a row.
What were you guided by when choosing a conference topic? Why will we talk about balancing between farming and business?
There is a debate in Ukraine now: whether the agrarian sector should be the basis for implementing the state policy for the maintenance of society in the countryside, or whether it should act as the driver of economic change. On September 19-20, we will discuss this issue within Ukraine and the world, and also try to determine the role of the agrarian sector in the next decade. Today, Ukrainian agribusiness sets the tone of many other related industries. I am convinced that the agrarian sector can harmoniously combine both directions, remain profitable and innovative, ensuring the development of rural areas and maintaining a positive environmental background. During the conference, we will discuss what needs to be done in order to maintain this unique balance.
How was the selection of speakers conducted for the conference?
We have invited a wide range of speakers from different parts of the world, where issues of profitability and social responsibility are also raised. Big companies in Brazil and Ukraine have much in common, despite the fact that each country has its own development path, they are actually moving in one direction. That is why we will be interested in sharing experiences with Fabio de Rezende Barbosa, Director General of NovAmerica.
Germany is a global leader in innovations and innovative solutions, creating trends in the sector. Michael Horsch, founder and CEO of Horsch Maschinen GmbH, will talk about technologies that will affect the agribusiness of the future in the next 5-10 years.
Brian Redrap - Farms Director - Velcourt Midlands from the UK will help understand what the vector of Ukrainian agro-sector development should be, taking into account the mood of Western Europe.
Martin Rand, a representative of The Climate Corporation, will talk about the synergy of different industries and new technology trends in order to maximize output.
Which key topics and ideas will be considered during the event?
Innovations, new solutions remain topical growth factors of company performance. However, innovative solutions must be economically feasible. At LFM, we will discuss optimizing of innovations for the best results.
Also, we will talk about management of large-scale production. This is a topical issue not only in the agrarian sector, but also in all corporations. In large-scale production, administrative and transaction costs are growing significantly, and only those who can optimize them will remain in the market.
In parallel with minimizing the cost, it is necessary to increase productivity. There are things that can be prescribed, programmed, fixed in processes and they will function properly. But there is an element of productivity, depends primarily on the human factor. Therefore, at LFM we will discuss how to motivate every employee, especially in large companies, where the number of staff is calculated by hundreds of employees.
You can clearly follow the development of the event program. First, we will consider how to ensure optimum production costs through innovation, minimization of transaction costs and maximum motivation of staff. And this, in turn, will allow us to increase resources that will help maintain soil fertility, a positive environmental background and maximum quality of products. In fact, if we can do all this in the Ukrainian agro-industrial sector, business and farming will form a harmonious, highly effective system.
The main purpose of our conference is to formulate guidelines and package of effective tools to ensure an effective combination of agro and business, profitability and public benefit.
Why have you decided to change the format of the event?
Our goal is to discuss and then evaluate in practice. That’s why we have the second day of the event - practical demonstrations of modern technologies of the leading brands in the field.
What will be the result of the participation for LFM guests?
First of all, each participant after a two-day conference will return to his company with a clear understanding of the actual trends of the agro-sector for the next 5 years. Secondly, unique content will allow us to formulate benchmarks for improving company efficiency and management issues. Thirdly, LFM is networking and beneficial contacts. Owners, top managers, leading specialists of Ukrainian and world agricultural companies in one place - potential clients and partners.