CEEPUS excursion at the FEM

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From August 14-19, 2017 we welcomed the participants of the CEEPUS short-term excursion entitled "Innovative Management and Marketing in Agribusiness", organized within the CEEPUS network CIII-SK-0044-11-1617 Applied Economics and Management, at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra.

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The project of the excursion was successfully submitted by prof. Dr. Ing. Elena Horská and Ing. Jana Gálová, PhD. from the Center for Research and Educational Projects of the FEM SUA in Nitra, the event being organized in cooperation with the Slovak Agricultural and Food Chamber and Ing. Jozef Šumichrast, PhD., as well as the Association of Young Farmers in Slovakia and Ing. Patrik Rovný, PhD.

The excursion was attended by 2 teachers and 21 students from 4 current (Szent István University in Hungary, University of Szeged in Hungary, University of Agriculture in Krakow in Poland, University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria) and 1 new (Canadian University Institute of Technology in Albania) partner university of the CEEPUS network.

The main objective of the excursion was to highlight examples of good management and marketing practice in the Slovak agrosector with a focus on innovation in these areas, to present the theoretical and research basics in innovative marketing and management in agribusiness, to link theory and practice in innovative marketing and management in agribusiness and based on the example of good practice to bring students of CEEPUS countries closer to the issues of applied marketing and management in agribusiness.

The first day after arrival and accommodation in the Dormitory Anton Bernolák the registration was completed. After lunch the participants were welcomed and got acquainted with the program of the excursion by Ing. Jana Gálová, PhD. Subsequently, prof. Dr. Ing. Elena Horská lectured the introductory seminar "Innovations in Marketing and Management ". International teams of students were set up and the tasks and topics of the projects were assigned to be prepared during the week. Finally, the city of Nitra and the possibilities of cultural and other activities were presented by the doctoral students Ing. Lucia Vargová and Ing. Martin Jamrich.

The program on Tuesday began with the visit to the Regional SAIA Office of the National CEEPUS Office in Slovakia, followed by three seminars, the first held by Ing. Johana Paluchová, PhD. (topic: "Innovative Marketing in the Practice of Agribusiness Companies") and then after lunch followed by Hristina Harizanova-Bartos from the University of National and World Economy (topic: "Innovative Management and Marketing in Agribusiness") and Vasil Qano from the Canadian Institute of Technology (topic: "Innovative Management and Marketing in Agribusiness - The Case of Albania"). After a block of seminars, a guided tour of the city of Nitra took place during which guests were accompanied by doctoral students Ing. Michaela Šugrová and Ing. Peter Šedík.

On Wednesday, in cooperation with the Slovak Agricultural and Food Chamber and Ing. Jozef Šumichrast, PhD. a visit of 3 successful agrifood companies was prepared within the practical program of the event. This program was also shared with the participants of the TEMPUS project "Development of Public Accreditation of Agricultural Programs in Russia (PCAgro)" 543902-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-SK-TEMPUS-SMGR from the Russian Federation and Estonia. In order to share all the information heard in companies in Slovak language, interpretation and translation was provided by Ing. Galina Gerhátová to Russian and Ing. Jana Gálová, PhD. to English.

The first stop was at the Golguz winery in Hlohovec, belonging to the agricultural company FOOD FARM, s.r.o. Hlohovec, which manufactures and sells wines exclusively from their own vineyards. Here the director Mr. Miloš Holík presented the winery, its history, success and awards from international wine competitions (including the award "Winery of the year 2015 in Slovakia"). Then we had the opportunity to test the quality of wines during the tasting of 8 wine varieties, accompanied by bits of cheese, small baked goods and grapes. After the tasting, we visited the production area as well as the company store. Our journey continued to Veselé near Piešťany, where Ing. Marián Varga, the managing director of Plantex, spol. s.r.o. introduced us to the company and its history, its three main activities (fruit orchards, fruit nurseries and the garden center) and especially talked about the demanding work in the fruit industry. This all took place directly in the fruit plant in the shadow of endless rows of Golden Delicious apple trees, after which we were offered tasty and juicy fruits and juices from the production of the company. After moving into the storage area, we learned about the logistics and storage of fruits, and we also saw the ways of securing a sufficient amount of moisture for the soil under the trees. We again bought some products in the company store and we travelled to our last stop, one of the most successful agricultural companies in Slovakia, namely the Agricultural Production and Trading Cooperative PD Kočín in Šterusy near Piešťany. After the introductory words of the president Mr. Jozef Puvák, we had a generous three-course lunch, so that we could continue our excursion at the farm, which today belongs to the top Slovak animal breeding industry, also dealing with plant production primarily for animal production, owning agricultural machinery and equipment, which is also lent for other agricultural holdings, some also abroad.

Here, we express our sincere thanks to all the leaders of the visited companies who have dedicated their time to us and enthusiastically explained the essence of their work in discussions on current issues and perspectives for the future and they willingly answered a number of questions.

On Thursday, the program continued with a visit to the Agrokomplex 2017 International Agricultural Exhibition in Nitra, visiting the stands of selected agricultural and food businesses (to see examples of good practice and potentially use them in the project), visiting the SUA stand to learn about the latest approaches to solving current issues of agrifood practice. Here the official introduction of the university textbook of prof. Dr. Ing. Elena Horská and Ing. Jakub Berčík, PhD. et al. "Neuromarketing in Food Retailing" (2017), published by the Wageningen Academic Publishers as the result of the international project FOODCOST, took place and in the science and research category it was awarded “Zlatý kosák”. After the summary of the AX 2017, the Slovak evening followed, which was a gala dinner with tasting Slovak specialties, where the traditional Slovak folk music was presented by the musicians from the folk ensemble Zobor, after which DJ Roman invited the participants to dance.

Finally, on Friday the student projects of international teams were presented in front of the commission consisting of Mrs. Henrietta Nagy (Szent István University), Ms. Nana Shimizu (Szent István University), Ms. Snezhanna Guzyi (Russian Timiryazev State Agrarian University), CEEPUS teachers Mrs. Hristo Harizan-Bartos and Mr. Vasil Qano and Ing. Johana Paluchová, PhD. from our faculty, who after the presentations also held the seminar "Innovative Approaches in Marketing Research" about research possibilities in the Laboratory of Consumer Studies. After lunch, the conclusions of the excursion and summaries of examples of good practice and innovative approaches in management and marketing were presented and the participants received their certificates from of Ing. Jana Gálová, PhD. and then the two best teams were announced, who received a small reward. The excursion has officially ended and it was time to say goodbye, when the high level of professionalism as well as the excellent organization of the intensive week were highlighted by the participants. We believe that we will meet many of them in the near future in a similarly successful event!

Author: Ing. Jana Gálová, PhD.
Center for Research and Educational Projects of the FEM SUA in Nitra

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