Gyermelyi Zrt. is Hungary’s market-leading pasta producer,
number one egg producer and key figure of the flour milling industry.
Additionally, the company conducts agricultural activities on 8,800 hectares of land, operating a closed, vertically integrated system.
On 21 January 1953, twelve farmers from Gyermely could no longer cope with the burdens imposed on and ruining individual farmers, and gave into political pressure by establishing the Petőfi Co-operative.
The 1956 revolution and war of independence scattered this initiative and the loosely based co-operative broke up. However, in 1959, due to forceful integration measures, the now 120-member co-operative is reformed and began operating on 1500 cadastral acres of land and two former estates.
Giving up their hopes for individual farming once and for all, the members joining the co-operative consciously strived to capitalize on the economic benefits of large-scale agricultural production.
Thanks to the reconfiguration of lands into fields, mechanization and the introduction of fertilizers and pesticides, the cereal yields were on the rise. In order to maintain the balance of crops, the farmers commenced intensive breeding activities and egg production.
In 1970, the government decided to build a pasta factory and was looking for an ideal site. The prestigious co-operative of Gyermely expressed its interest and was granted the opportunity. Pasta production began as a joint venture in 1971, with the involvement of two trading companies and a professional investor. The results started showing by the end of the seventies and, after two decades of careful capital accumulation and thrifty management, the company could take on social expenditures. It provided financial assistance to its employees to build their houses and contributed to the development of Gyermely and the nearby villages.
In the mid-eighties, the co-operative was operating on the outskirts of four municipalities, and took advantage of the economic opportunities to expand its industrial background. It constructed a mill, thus ensuring the pasta factory’s continuous supply of raw materials. In 1989, the 120 tons per day capacity mill was opened, thus integrating a new industry into the company.
During the change of regime, nothing was more important than preserving the integrity of shared material and intellectual assets. At the time, the co-operative was reorganised as a joint-stock company and its assets were specified. The founders, the people who always considered themselves as such and who acted accordingly, became the real owners of the firm. Thus, even employees could gain access to stocks through the work they performed at the company.
In 1992, a new feed factory was dedicated to poultry farming. Thanks to various acquisitions, the holding was operating on 9,500 hectares of land at the turn of the millennium.
The daily capacity of the mill, which was reconstructed in 2001 and featured state-of-the-art Bühler technology, grew to 300 tons a day, which was enough to fully supply the industrial flour demands of the pasta factory, whilst significantly increasing the mill’s market share.
Thanks to the increase in capacity, an automatic bagging system and small unit packaging facilities were added to the division in 2005; consequently, the Gyermelyi flour was also offered in retail packaging.
In 2003, the integration was broadened and the wheat seed production plant was built, whilst wheat production partners solely used Gyermelyi seeds
Over the course of three years, a pasta factory complex was built which adhered to 21st century demands and included the latest production lines and packaging technology coupled with a flour mixer, providing a safe and optimum supply of raw materials and an automatic high-rack warehouse.
The replacement of the crop production machine pool began in 2008, which allowed for the introduction of precision cultivation on the holding’s lands.
Continuous development led to a series of new tasks for the logistics division. The existing automated warehouse was supplemented with another unit based on the same technology. The two storage units had rail connections with the flour and pasta factory packaging facility, therefore the storing of the finished goods was fully automated. The two warehouses had a combined capacity of 10,000 pallets.
The technology of the entire egg production division is renewed and expanded in full compliance with the strict EU animal welfare measures. The three hen-houses featured the latest hygienic production and automatic collection systems, which satisfy all animal welfare specifications. As the greatest egg producer in Hungary, Gyermelyi’s market position was further reinforced by the fact that approximately 140 million fresh eggs are shipped from these farms to the factory and the egg market.
Gyermelyi now features two mills. The new mill opened in 2013 can mill soft wheat as well as durum wheat, thus providing for the in-house production of the last crucial pasta factory raw material. The spectrum of the crop production branch is expanded with durum wheat seeds. Adapting to the increase in milling capacity, the opportunities for storing raw materials is also on the rise with the construction of modern storage facilities at the central plant suitable for cleaning and storing 100,000 tons of wheat. To meet new market demands, a new machine was installed in the flour packaging unit which can rapidly supply the increasing demands of buyers.
Apart from technological advancements, the development of the brand is also important. The Gyermelyi egg, flour and pasta products are marketed under a unified, easily identifiable brand, in new packaging, thus reinforcing the brand’s market presence. At the same time, the entire corporate identity is renewed.
Apart from procuring new equipment, crop production was expanded by an agricultural centre capable of covering the division’s long-term demands. Located in the centre of the cultivated lands, the 7.2 hectare area site in Somodorpuszta allows for the appropriate maintenance and storage of the machines suitable for precision cultivation. The employees working in the division are concentrated at the same site, and the centralization also serves work organisation and efficiency improvement considerations. The investment includes a high performance seed drier facility with a significant grain storage capacity.
Over the past 10 years, the holding devoted over HUF 20 billion to various investment projects. This year was a milestone as the magnitude of investments exceeded HUF 10 billion over the calendar year.
A high-performance, modern feed factory will be completed by mid-year, which will serve as the basis for future poultry farming developments. The third high-rack warehouse will be completed with an additional capacity of 10,000 pallets, where the handling of goods will be carried out by automated warehousing equipment. Additionally, the construction of a new pasta factory will begin, which will double the available capacity to 70,000 tons a year. Once the investment is completed in early 2018, the Gyermelyi pasta factory will become one of the key factories of the region.