Integrated Report 2020

Initiatives supporting the development of the Food & Agro sector


The BNP Paribas Group has extensive international experience in providing services within this sector and is the European leader in financing the leasing of agricultural machinery. In Turkey and the USA, banks of the BNP Paribas Group are among the leaders when it comes to financing companies from Food & Agro sector. We are also a leader in financing the Polish Agri-food sector. We support the sustainable development of Clients from this sector through various initiatives.

  • 203-1

Agronomist is a comprehensive and innovative portal created in cooperation with farmers and manufacturers. Entities from all segments of the agri-food value chain are represented on the platform. It is a unique tool for the agri-food industry which provides a knowledge base and a wide set of professional tools for farmers and processing companies. Every day, several thousand registered users visit the website to find information from Poland and the world 

The Agronomist pursues the following long-term goals which are a part the BNP Paribas Group Strategy: 

  • It supports the advancement towards responsible and sustainable production through education and by providing innovative tools, 
  • It integrates entities from all segments of the agri-food value chain, with particular emphasis on local communities and on the role of women in the sector, 
  • It supports digitisation and digital transformation among entities from the agri-food sector. 

In 2020, new features and sections were introduced: 

  • We launched the „Green Changes” section, which discusses good practices and innovative solutions for the transformation of the agri-food sector towards sustainable production. 
  • We introduced an organic fertiliser production and consumption calculator – a tool for the management of nitrogen fertilisers. 
  • The „Agro on Heels” section recognises active businesswomen from rural areas. We post their bios as well as information about local communities and ideas for free-time activities. 
  • In addition to daily reports on grain prices and analytical reports devoted to agricultural markets, we have introduced a section with data regarding the prices of agricultural products at local purchasing centres and marketplaces. The data is provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and is of great interest to users. 
  • We have also launched the first real estate search engine on the market dedicated exclusively to the agri-food sector. 

We have joined the Cool Farm Alliance, an international business and science consortium devoted to developing software which supports sustainable agriculture. Therefore, we will soon be able to give our Clients access to a greenhouse gas emissions calculator. 

In 2020, we organised the 5th edition of the Agro Academy – a free meeting for farmers, during which experts from various fields share their knowledge on current topics related to Polish agriculture. The meetings were devoted to current topics of interest to the industry and changes awaiting Polish agriculture in the near future. Invitations are extended to farmers/entrepreneurs who wish to broaden their knowledge about farm development and apply it in running their own business 

This year’s the motto of the Agro Academy was „Sustainable business”. Due to the pandemic, meetings were held online, which made it possible to reach a wider group of Customers. The discussed topics were closely related to the protection of natural resources and counteracting climate change 

The 5th edition of Agro Academy encompassed four meetings: 

  • Fruit, an exports hit? 
  • Challenges facing the meat industry 
  • Water and soil in the context of climate change 
  • The future of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – innovations and challenges 

Find out more  

In 2020, the Bank published the eighth issue of its magazine for farmers. The magazine has a circulation of 30 thousand and copies are available free of charge at Bank branches. In 2020, an electronic version was also published. The magazine contains informative articles, Banks analyst commentary, a calendar of future trade fairs and events for farmers, reports, curiosities and entertainment columns. The Agro Kurier is published by the Bank, but is edited in cooperation with journalists 

The eighth issue focuses on the EU’s „Green Deal” and the „Farm to Fork” strategy. Other topics discussed in the 2020 issue included: 

  • Principles of sustainable farming, 
  • Optimisation of nitrogen fertilisation on farms, 
  • Organic farms, 
  • Outlook for poultry and onion markets. 

The Agro Kurier is available here

The Agro-conference, developed by Bank BNP Paribas, is the first conference addressed to the agri-food sector. It gathers representatives of the Food & Agro sector and gives them the opportunity to discuss key topics from the sector’s perspective. The event, organised since 2006, has become an important annual meeting of the Bank with Clients and institutions from this industryThe Food & Agro Conference extends the formula of the previous Agro-conferences. The event was addressed was attended by an international audience. It is available in English and Polish, and international experts are invited. In 2020, the event took place online and its slogan was: ”Dominant trends. New solutions. 

Agro Hub

The Agro Hub of the BNP Paribas Group began operations in April 2018. Its goal is to create a Food & Agro competence center for Banks and Customers from the BNP Paribas Group in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Africa. The Agro Hub of the BNP Paribas Group is a platform for international cooperation, a source of inspiration for our competition, and a responsible stimulator of development, expansion of production and gaining new markets for the agri-food industry. The Agro Hub’s activity includes defining a sectoral strategy, proposing comprehensive products and optimal solutions, cooperation with Food & Agro entities in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Africa, and education. 

Food & Agro banking development in the SME segment: consultancy for the Central Bank of Egypt

Due to a growing population and as a result of economic reforms, the Egyptian authorities have taken steps to intensify the development of the agricultural and SME sectors. The offer of the BNP Paribas Group Agro Hub Competence Center in Warsaw won an international competition and was therefore chosen to support the Central Bank of Egypt in the development of banking within the agri-food and SME sectors. 

Two projects were implemented in 2019 and work on another project continued in 2020. The cooperation was fully remote, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BNP Pariba’s support for the Client included, i.a.: product development, implementation planning, marketing, financial modelling, sales management and organisation. 

Cooperation with Metabolic

BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. wishes to contribute to the process of transformation towards sustainable development and strengthen the resilience of the Polish agri-food sector. In cooperation with Metabolic – and advisory company – BNP Paribas has launched an international cooperation project which ensures a comprehensive approach to the problem. The main goal of the project, launched in 2020, is to understand the strategic role of the Polish agri-food sector in terms of key areas of impact and the role of BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. in shaping this sector. Individual stages of the project will be devoted to the development of an overall vision of sustainable development which will contribute to strengthening the Polish agri-food sector. Another goal is to develop a detailed plan of how the Bank can support the vision. 

Nitrogen Limitation

In 2020, we launched the „Nitrogen limitation” project. Its aim is to contribute to the minimisation of nitrogen consumption in agriculture and food production 

Excessive nitrogen fertilisation harms the soil, plants and animals, both in the fields and around them. Excess nitrogen which is not absorbed by plants is washed away by rainfall and irretrievably lost. It pollutes surface and groundwater and poisons the environment, including streams, rivers, and wells. Effects include not only environmental damage, but also financial losses for farms. The key to maintaining standards and achieving efficiency is the precise application of fertilisers 

Work on the „Nitrogen Limitation” project was twofold. The main goal was to draw attention to the problem of nitrogen and optimisation methods. We carried out an educational campaign for consumers (in traditional media and online) with the slogan „Less nitrogen – more benefits”. A twin campaign was addressed to farmers under the slogan „Optimal nitrogen fertilisation benefits everyone”. For more information on the educational campaign, see the Environmental Responsibility chapterAdditionally, a nitrogen calculator for animal fertilisers has been placed on the Agronomist platform. The calculator, originally developed by the Agricultural Advisory Center in Brwinów, gained a more user-friendly interface, so that farmers do not need to fill out a complicated spreadsheet 

Agricultural biogas plants were another area analysed by the Bank’s experts. The social and environmental goals of agricultural biogas plants are primarily: the reduction of methane emissions, waste treatment and biogas production. From an economic point of view, the primary goal is the production of electricity, heat/cold and a fertiliser called ‘digestate’. A Report on biogas plants was published as part of the “Nitrogen Limitation” initiative. We predict that in the coming years there will be increased interest in biogas plant investments. The report will provide the Bank’s employees with knowledge on the subject. 

Educational and information initiative addressed to Customers of the Food & Agro sector

BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. has been financing the Agro market for years. Our experts are constantly analysing the market and monitoring changes. Recently, we have noticed a deterioration in the economic situation of farmers, which results in an increased interest in the loan offer. Financial institutions frequently offer loans which are not well suited to the specific needs of the sector, thus contributing to the growing debt of farmers. 

As a banking leader in the Agro sector, we know how to ensure that external financing is as safe as possible and serves the development of agribusiness. In 2020, we continued to educate and inform and developed an adequate product offer. 

Competition for the best BA/MA thesis on the Agro sector

BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. has been supporting agribusiness for years. We are hopeful about the development of agricultural science and we believe that innovation is the key to the evolution of sustainable food systems. This is why the Bank organised the 2nd edition of a competition for the best thesis devoted to the agro sector. Both BA and MA thesis can be submitted if the defence took place between 2019 and 2020. The subject of the theses must be related to the development of broadly understood agribusiness, i.e. the progress, innovativeness and development of farms and rural areas; other initiatives of value to the rural society, natural environment, farms and the agri-food industry. The 3 best theses received financial awards, a special award for a thesis devoted to agriculture and organic food was also presented. The total value of the awards was PLN 8 thousand. In 2020, 45 thesis were submitted. The jury, appreciating the high level of submissions, presented 4 awards and 3 distinctions. 

To find out more about the Competition, visit  

Partnerships for sustainable development in the agri-food sector

For many years, BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. has been making every effort to support the development of Polish agriculture. Therefore, in addition to offering a wide selection of products, we support Polish farmers through various initiatives, both internal and external. 

In 2020, the Bank joined the international Cool Farm Alliance (CFA). An industry consortium of entities working on the development of sustainable agriculture. We were the first financial institution to join the group of 60 entities (retail chains, food producers and suppliers, non-governmental organisations, scientific units and advisory entities). The main goal of the CFA is the exchange of experiences and international cooperation to develop and promote a comprehensive set of analytical tools for sustainable agriculture. Membership in the CFA will give the Bank’s Customers from the Food & Agro sector access to the innovative Cool Farm Tool via the Agronomist banking portal. The tool will be available in the first half of 2021. It is an online calculator for greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural production, farm biodiversity and crop irrigation requirements. 

In 2020, BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. joined the Coalition for the Development of the BIO Food Market. It is a program initiated by institutions united around the idea of developing the bio market in Poland and it has the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The goal is to strengthen the potential of Polish agriculture and processing, as well as to develop an organic market in Poland. The Coalitions’ activity focuses on education, creating a system of logistic solutions for suppliers of bio products and systemic support for organic farming in Poland. As part of the cooperation, this year we took part in the Bioexpo Congress. 

In 2020, we continued our cooperation with the „ASAP” Association. The cooperation includes the popularisation of the principles of sustainable agriculture. The Association’s experts supported the Bank’s initiatives, such as the educational campaign on nitrogen and Agro Academy meetings. 

For more information on the Bank’s sustainable development partnerships, please visit:  

Search results