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From raw material to product:
The AGRANA value chain in the

Raw material procurement
in the Starch segment

Sustainability is an integral element of AGRANA’s corporate philosophy. For us, this commitment begins long before the industrial processing of agricultural raw materials, namely during their procurement. In our EU-based Starch segment, we mainly process corn, wheat and potatoes into premium starch products for the food industry, as well as for non-food applications. The production of climate-friendly bioethanol for blending with petrol is also part of the Starch segment. We offer a wide range of GMO-free and organic products.

The 2014|15 financial year saw the first steps taken in our Starch segment to implement the AGRANA principles for the procurement of agricultural raw materials and intermediate products for potatoes, sourced from contract growers in Austria to be processed in our potato starch factory in Gmünd, in Austria.

Membership in the SAI :

In the 2017|18 financial year the previously voluntary completion of the FSA questionnaire becamemandatory for some contract suppliers. In the Starch segment, Austrian contract potato growers selected in accordance with the SAI FSA Implementation Framework and its Audit Guideline participated in the mandatory FSA self-assessment and the external audits to SAI standards. Based on the results of the external verification, AGRANA’s Starch segment is entitled to claim gold or silver status under SAI standards for more than 75% of the statistical population of all Austrian contract potato growers. AGRANA’s minimum requirements are fulfilled by all Austrian contract potato growers; areas of potential for improvement identified by the audits are addressed through existing training programmes.

With regard to sourcing grain from contract growers, we meet our needs primarily with specialty corn (waxy corn, organic corn and certified GMO-free corn) to be processed at our corn starch factory in Aschach, Austria.

In the 2017|18 financial year, Austrian contract corn growers selected in accordance with the SAI FSA Implementation Framework and its Audit Guideline participated in the mandatory FSA self-assessment and the external audits to SAI standards. Based on the results of the external verification, AGRANA’s Starch segment is entitled to claim gold or silver status under SAI standards for more than 75% of the statistical population of all Austrian contract corn growers.

When it comes to sourcing grain for wheat starch and bioethanol production, we have been putting our trust in raw materials certified according to the International Sustainability and Carbon Certificate (ISCC) and the Austrian Agricultural Certification Scheme (AACS). Both the ISCC and AACS are accorded silver status in the SAI system.

The corn processed in our starch plant in Aschach, Austria, is grown in the EU and procured from traders.


in the Starch segment

Even though the transportation of raw materials and starch products has a comparatively low impact on the carbon footprint of our products depending on the calculation method and country, we still try to keep transportation as sustainable as possible both in terms of the infrastructure and commercial viability.

AGRANA starch production

As a result of our high level of dependence on agricultural crops, we feel a particular obligation to protect all natural resources. We have taken this self-imposed obligation and created the AGRANA environmental policy, which covers major aspects such as energy use and emissions, water and waste management.

As an energy-intensive processor of agricultural raw materials, we strive to optimise our energy consumption and improve our energy efficiency on an ongoing basis. In order to achieve these objectives, we are integrating an energy management system, based on standards such as ISO 50001, into our existing quality management system.

ISO 50001 zertifiziert:

In our energy policy, we place particular emphasis on:

  • Natural gasIn the 2017|18 financial year, we met approximately 96% of our direct energy needs with this low-emission fuel; the rest with renewable energies.

  • Greatest possible use of waste heatFor instance, we have been operating a heat recovery system in the feedstuff drying operations in Pischelsdorf, Austria since 2013|14, which saves around 8,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

  • Supplying ourselves with energySince the wheat starch plant started operations at the combined site in Pischelsdorf, we have been using fermentation gas from the waste water purification system to produce biogas.

  • Continuously and systematically improving our specific energy consumption thanks to our energy management systemAt the three Austrian starch manufacturing sites ofAschach, Gmund and Pischelsdorf, an energy management system was introduced in autumn 2014 and certified under ISO 50001. In the 2017|18 financial year they were recertified. The site in Romania holds a current energy audit certification.Aiming for continual improvement, the Starch segment is targeting site-specific efficiency gains amounting to a cumulative reduction of 50 GWh of energy use by 2020|21 through efficiency-boosting projects in individual sections of the plants. By means of the energy conservation projects in 2017|18, this target was already exceeded. To date about 54 GWh of reductions were achieved.

Pursuant to our AGRANA environmental policy, we ensure the sustainable use of water and waste water at our starch factories. The water is purified and reused time and again.

In our combined bioethanol and wheat starch production facility in Pischelsdorf, Austria, we no longer use freshwater to produce bioethanol during normal operations since the wheat starch factory was commissioned, as the water required for the mashing process is obtained from condensed steam or the slurry from the wheat starch factory.

Starch segment2017 | 18
Water use in m3 per tonne of core and by-products4.49
Waste water in m3 per tonne of core and by-products4.69

It is our operating principle to maximise the utilisation of agricultural raw materials by making valuable by-products, contributing to our economic and social bottom line.

Starch segment2017 | 18 in tonnes
Waste disposed37,082
of which hazardous waste41
Waste per tonne of product3.0 %
Hazardous waste per tonne of product0.003 %
Non-hazardous waste disposed by disposal method
Energy recovery1,642

* Based on the "input-output analysis" for AGRANA's corn starch plant in Aschach, Austria in the 2012|13 financial year. The values are based on dry weight.

An average of 983 employees worked in our Starch segment during the 2017|18 financial year. They are a key factor for success due to their commitment, range of skills, experience and views.

AGRANA endeavours to offer interesting work, opportunities for professional and personal development and training, and a workplace environment in which employees feel integrated, respected and connected.

Employees in the Starch Segment (at the balance sheet data of 28 February 2018)

Non-permanent staff


16.4 %

Permanent staff


23.5 %


12.6 %

White collar321

44.5 %



19 %

Of which Executive Leadership


33.3 %



Workplace safety in the Starch segment

At the end of the day, it is important that all of our employees return home safely. We strive to achieve this objective by means of regular trainings on safe working processes, implementing best practice cases and providing workplace safety materials as part of our zero accident policy.

In the 2013|14 financial year, we have started to collect workplace safety data across all business segments by means of uniform worldwide criteria. Our 2018|19 target: fewer than 12 workplace accidents in the financial year through site-specific packages of measures.

Injury rate 17 | 18(number of accidents/ 100 employees p.a.)




Lost day rate 17 | 18(number of lost days/ 100 employees p.a.)




Absentee rate 17 | 18(hours missed due to accident and sickness/ 100 employees p.a.)







Working conditions and their verification

In the 2014|15 financial year, we revised the AGRANA Code of Conduct, which establishes minimum (social) standards and rules of conduct for all employees around the world.


As part of our membership of Supplier Ethical Exchange Database ( SEDEX ) since 2009 all our production sites carry out a SEDEX self-assessment every year. In order to underpin our commitment in this area, we had 4-pillar SMETA audits carried out by independent third parties at our Austrian production sites in Aschach, Gmünd and Pischelsdorf in 2017. The audit reports can be accessed by SEDEX members on the organisation's online platform.

Employee training hours

The education and training, as well as the personal development, of our employees is important to us. Employees in the Starch segment completed an average of 22.9 training hours in the 2017|18 financial year. In total, 93.5% of employees completed a training course. Training and development costs amounted to 0.7% of total wages and salaries.


In summer 2017, AGRANA Starke GmbH updated its sustainability data (first provided in 2014) for the purposes of EcoVadis, the international supplier evaluation platform. AGRANA Starke GmbH again achieved a gold rating, putting it in the top 5% of performers scored by EcoVadis.

Diverse range of starch products

We manufacture GMO-free native and modified starches, saccharification products, alcohol/bioethanol, conventional and organic feedstuffs and fertilisers. Our products find a range of different uses in the food industry, as well as in the paper, textile, building materials, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and oil sectors. They are also used as feedstuffs for animals or fertilisers for farming.

Some of our certifications:
Core products:

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