Ukrainian organic products should explore domestic market – producers

Ukrainian organic products should find their domestic consumers. Now 95% of these products are exported. The Ukrainian Organic Cluster has been created just for this purpose. This was informed by Tetiana Yablonska, Director of the Public Union “Ukrainian Organic Cluster,” during a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Manufacturers from almost all regions of Ukraine gathered at the founding conference of the Cluster.

56 persons participated in the conference. Most of them are certified manufacturers of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits or service providers in the agricultural sector. “The Ukrainian consumer basket almost entirely consists of organic products,” stated Tetiana Yablonska. It is necessary to change people’s opinion that everything organic is expensive, and disseminate information about the advantages of such products.

The events of the conference were held with the support of the Canadian project PROMIS. This project of Canadian Municipalities is implemented in Ukraine and actively supported by the Government of Canada. “The project involves 16 Ukrainian cities in Vinnytsia, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk and Poltava regions. We are working in 4 cities of each region,” informed Valerii Kokot, senior manager of the Canadian project PROMIS. In the process of working with small and medium businesses a lot of prospects in processing of agricultural products were found. “There are cities that are ready to switch completely to organic production. […] To implement the projects of development of small and medium businesses in our cities we have provided CAD 100 thousand for each of the cities,” noted Mr. Kokot.

“We see the Cluster as the interaction of government, science and business. Business should definitely be the driver of the organic cluster,” noted Maria Makhnovets, project manager of the Public Union “Ukrainian Organic Cluster”.

“The organic market in Ukraine is only beginning to develop, most actively within the last 5-6 years,” noted Tetiana Sytnyk, Head of Community “Seed treasury”. The sector needs infrastructure development. There are many farm enterprises that do not know how to enter the market. Through the Ukrainian Organic Cluster small and medium manufacturers will know who to ask for advice. Farmers also have the opportunity to apply to seed plants that retain the traditions of different cultures. There are opportunities to develop agro-tourism.

Giedrius Bagušinskas, Director of the Lithuanian cluster Litmea, said: “I see good prospects for Ukrainian cluster development. […] The idea is simple: you need to work purposefully.” There are good developments, and the result will depend on the coordination of actions of the team. The authorized persons of the parties, namelyTetiana Yablonska, Director of the Public Union “Ukrainian Organic Cluster” and Giedrius Bagušinskas, Director of the Lithuanian cluster Litmea, have signed a memorandum of cooperation.