Sustainability

At Don Agro, we are focused on the sustainable development of our business that meets the principles of social and environmental responsibilities, as well as the standards of “intelligent” agriculture.

 

We apply approaches that follow the norms of local international law, the priorities of the social and economic development of the regions of our presence, and, first of all, that meet the goals set by the UN.

 

Greentech that we use at Don Agro:

 

  • Cognitive Pilot

is an autonomous driving system for agricultural machinery. It helps to improve productivity and reduce the consumption of fuel and carbon dioxide emissions by 5%. The AI-powered system estimates the geometry of crop edges and controls the movement of the harvester with consistent precision to improve harvesting efficiency. This leads to an increase in total fuel efficiency as harvesting time is reduced. The Cognitive Agro Pilot™ can automatically detect the surrounding topography and maneuver autonomously to reduce collisions, thereby avoiding serious machinery damage, breakdowns or personal injury;

 

  • Smart Polymorph

produces well-known plant growth bio-stimulants that have been modified into new crystalline and amorphous forms via the latter’s polymorphic modification technology. According to Smart Polymorph, pharmaceutical drugs that they had created displayed higher therapeutic effect as compared to existing market alternatives, even as the number of active substances used was reduced by three to five times. This is due to the technology’s ability to modify the morphology and crystalline form of the respective substances, and manage the control of particle sizes and number of impurities, thereby ensuring that the end product achieves the highest quality standards;

 

  • Mustang Nutrition Technology

is an AI-system that helps our in-house livestock specialists and external nutritional consultants to improve our cows’ food intake quality. It monitors animals’ wellbeing, conducts a 10-point scale assessment of the feeding quality and provides data of feed component dosage;

 

  • No-till farming

In no-till farming, crop residues are left on the surface, where the nutrients that result from their decay can leach into the soil. The accumulation of such surface residue after a few seasons of no-till farming practice will result in more moisture and nutrients retained in the soil as the lack of tilling exposes less of the soil to air and prevents erosion of soil nutrients. At Don Agro, we use no-till method since 2013. To encourage sustainable farming process, we’ve dedicated over 7,000 hectares for no-tillage farming in 2021. In 2022, this number increased to 8,000 hectares;

 

  • Organic wheat

Don Agro decided to expand its range of products to include organically cultivated wheat to capture growing consumer demand for organic alternatives which will lead to both health and environmental benefits. Supported by a large land bank in the prime agricultural region of Rostov in Russia, we had allocated an 11.0 hectares plot to support this venture. The growth of weeds on this plot is controlled by the help of harrowing which involves the physical uprooting of weeds without the use of herbicides. Naturally occurring biological products are also utilized for the crop cultivation process in place of pesticides or herbicides to control pests and diseases;

 

  • Sediments from the bottom of lakes to fertilize arable land

Don Agro launched a joint pilot project with a Russian startup, Octaviana, which produces a new generation of fertilizer called Live Soil (TM). The main ingredient of this fertilizer is sapropel, also known as bio deposit. This is a freshwater organic-rich mud sediment formed from the remains of plankton, water plants, and other marine-dwelling organisms and is the same mud that is used for treatment at balneological resorts. The substance has a complex chemical composition with a broad range of values and is also an efficient and ecologically friendly natural material.

 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

 

The 17 SDGs are integrated — they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.

 

At Don Agro, we play our role in shaping better future for all by implementing SDGs into the company’s sustainable development strategy. We pay special attention to achieving the following goals:

Zero hunger

Zero hunger

The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.

Good health and well-being

Good health and well-being

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Gender Equality

Gender Equality

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Affordable and Clean Energy

Affordable and Clean Energy

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs.

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Investments in infrastructure are crucial to achieving sustainable development.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Responsible Consumption and Production

By 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to sustain current lifestyles.

Climate Action

Climate Action

Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.

Life on Land

Life on Land

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

Partnerships

Partnerships

Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Zero hunger

The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.

At Don Agro, we cultivate and produce winter wheat, sunflower, corn and raw milk. Given the growing demand for grain and oilseeds, we acquire new land, increase the acreage for these crops, and invest in machinery and soil itself to increase yields.

 

Over the past five years, Don Agro’s land bank has grown by 26.6% or 14,100 hectares. At the moment, it includes more than 67,300 hectares, of which more than 54,400 hectares are arable land.

 

In 2021, the group achieved an all-time high harvest, that exceeded the previous year volume by 8,900 tonnes in total crops harvested. In addition, the winter wheat class was upgraded from 12.5% to 13.5% protein content, which commands up to USD 5 more per tonne (CBOT).

 

To maintain the health of the dairy herd and increase the milk yield, Don Agro cooperates with the world’s leading feed manufacturers, such as Cargill and Koudijs MKorma (De Heus).

 

Don Agro will continue playing its role in providing food security by increasing production levels in both crop and livestock segments.

Good health and well-being

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

The management of the group pays special attention to the health of our employees. At Don Agro, employees undergo an annual medical checkup in a private clinic, all expenses covered by the company.

 

We are very attentive to measures preventing the spread of COVID-19. At the entrance to the office, we check the temperature of visitors and employees, all visitors are given masks and gloves. When an employee has the first signs of illness at the workplace, we isolate him and make a rapid test for COVID-19.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

We value professional and personal qualities in our specialists, and therefore we do not separate employees by gender.

 

192 specialists of 604 Don Agro’s employees in total are women. Due to the specifics of agricultural business processes, a large amount of work requires heavy physical labor.

Affordable and Clean Energy

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity.

We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint. The plans for the development of the group include a gradual transition to the green energy of our operating divisions. This year we plan to install the first batch of solar panels at Don Agro office’s territory in Millerovo city.

 

This work will be continued.

 

In the crop segment, we have already implemented the Cognitive Pilot technology. Autopiloting systems installed in our harvesters, helps to reduce the fuel consumption by 5%.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs.

We aim to cooperate with the best specialists in their professional fields. Therefore, Don Agro had set a competitive level of salaries, employees are provided with all benefits and social guarantees.

 

During the season of agricultural work in our fields, we organize meals for employees involved in crop production at our own expense. Every year, we choose on a tender basis a catering service that is responsible for cooking and daily delivery of hot meals to Don Agro employees.

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Investments in infrastructure are crucial to achieving sustainable development.

One of the most important priorities of Don Agro is the intelligent approach to agricultural activities. The research department of the group constantly explores innovations in agriculture and GreenTech, as well as the possibilities of their implementation.

 

We actively use artificial intelligence technologies in both milk and crop production. At Don Agro, we monitor our fields and the process of plants growth using drones. At the same time, we implement latest IT solutions and fertilizers with innovative formulas.

Responsible Consumption and Production

By 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to sustain current lifestyles.

The threat of food shortages and actions for ensuring the world’s food security are now more acute than ever. To contribute to the solution of these problems, Don Agro improves the technological processes, increases production volumes.

 

Taking into account the sharply increased demand for wheat at the beginning of 2022, the management of the group decided to increase the acreage for winter wheat. The use of higher-quality fertilizers and the weather forecast for the current year allow us to hope that Don Agro will have an all-time high yield of grain.

Climate Action

Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.

Reducing environmental footprint is one of the main goals of Don Agro’s team.

 

Despite the fact that climate change in the Rostov region has had a positive impact on our yields, we are focused on minimizing the impact on the environment as much as possible.

 

So far, we were among the first agricultural companies in the Rostov region to use the “no-till” farming method. At the moment, we are not using heavy equipment for tillage on an area of more than 7,000 hectares. This reduces the volume of gas emissions and prevents soil erosion.

 

In addition, Don Agro is gradually switching to organic fertilizers and introducing technologies that reduce the amount of gas emissions. Every year, we purchase Cognitive Pilot autopilot systems and implement it to our vehicles making our fleet more efficient and less harmful.

 

In the near future, the group of companies will install solar panels at the territory of our office in Millerovo city, which will also help in the fight against climate changes.

Life on Land

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

In addition to the measures mentioned above, such as “no-till” method, autopiloting technologies and organic fertilizers, Don Agro also takes actions to restore ecosystems in the regions of its existence.

 

In 2022, the company will invest in planting trees on its land, which will help not only to clean the air, but also to prevent soil erosion, which is typical for these territories.

 

Another important aspect in the positive impact on ecosystems is the ban on hunting on the lands of Don Agro. Unfortunately, this type of time spending is still common among Russians. During the hunting season, the group’s security service pays special attention to restricting access to our fields for citizens who not only hunt for local birds and animals, but also harm the sown crop.

Partnerships

Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

At Don Agro, we are always open to joint ventures and pilot projects, and ready to cooperate with those who aim to reduce environmental damage and increase the efficiency of agricultural business.

 

The management of the group regularly takes part in specialized events, conducts business meetings with market players offering interesting solutions.

 

Don Agro is confident that together we can make the world a better place for all!