Farming and Agriculture

Despite the war, Ukraine sets a new record for organic exports in 2022

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13 February 2023, Ukraine: Despite all the difficulties they face, Ukrainian organic exporters continue to export and participate in international organic trade fairs. According to the analysis of the Ukrainian Certification Body Organic Standard, in 2022, Ukraine exported 225,814 metric tons of organic products to the EU and Switzerland, a 13 % increase compared to 2021.

One key to this success story lies in the financial support of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland, which finances the Quality Food Trade Program (QFTP), which is implemented by FiBL Switzerland and in partnership with SAFOSO. FiBL has been working in Ukraine to develop the organic sector for about 20 years and didn’t stop their support during the recent war. “The work continued in 2022 and will be continued in 2023, also under the most difficult conditions,” stresses Tobias Eisenring, FiBL coordinator of the QFTP. The Ukrainian State Institution Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office (EEPO), together with the QFTP and other partners will bring 23 organic exporters to Biofach 2023, in Nuremberg (Germany) from 14 to 17 February.

FiBL expert Toralf Richter, who in the QFTP is responsible for the marketing activities of Ukrainian exporters, highlights the most important reasons for the export success under wartime conditions: “The brave resistance of Ukrainian organic farmers, their creative and flexible logistic solutions and a big wave of solidarity from international buyers led to the observed success.” FiBL supported the efforts of Ukrainian producers with organisations dedicated to online business matchmaking activities, such as the organisation of Online Organic Export Days in November 2022, the international celebration of Ukrainian Organic Day in September 2022, an online conference “Organic export during the War” in June 2022 or the organisation of the Ukrainian National Pavilion at the trade exhibition Biofach in July 2022. Apart from these events, FiBL organised online events or produced podcasts to inform international buyers about the constantly changing export situation and export solutions.

Additionally, it was crucial that the organic farmers were not left alone. Together with the Ukrainian multi-stakeholder platform Organic Initiative, the QFTP coordinated financial support more than 100 Ukrainian organic operators for USD 367,000; this was done within two phases of the grant programme Support of the Organic Sector in Ukraine. With this support, organic farmers could continue to be certified or buy organic inputs for the 2022–2023 seeding campaign.

Also Read: Developing Agricultural Research Institutes

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