BIOFACH 2021, the 32nd international trade exhibition of organic products, started on February 17. It’s the first time that the exhibition is organized online on a platform, which was specially created for the event.
On the first day of the exhibition, the official opening of the Ukrainian National Pavilion, Organic Ukraine Business Hub, took place. This year, it brought together 22 manufacturers. Ukraine is officially participating in BIOFACH for the eighth year in a row. In total, this year, companies are presenting more than 200 organic products, almost half of which are processed final products.
In the opening of the pavilion participated:
- Roman Leshchenko, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine,
- Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine – Trade Representative of Ukraine,
- Serhiy Glushchenko, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine,
- Vladyslava Magaletska, Head of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection,
- Dushan Kulka, Head of the export promotion USAID Competitive Economy in Ukraine program
- Viktor Shutkevych, Assistant Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine, the Embassy of Switzerland,
- Olena Korogod (Berezovska), President of the Organic Ukraine NGO, the organizer of the Ukrainian National Pavilion, producers and participants of the organic sector.
During the opening, there was an active discussion about problems and perspectives for the development of the organic sector in Ukraine.
Roman Leshchenko sincerely greeted guests and exhibitors of the pavilion and said that being a partner at the international level — is a great honor for Ukraine.
«Yesterday, we presented a strategic vision for the development of the Ukrainian agricultural sector until 2030 within our government initiative, which involved dozens of representatives of various professional associations and producers. We made a conclusion that the organic sector will be an integral part of the State’s powerful agricultural development. Considering that Ukraine is already among the top three exporters of organic products to EU countries, this is already a significant indicator, but the growth potential is tremendous. We also see that with every year the geography of exports of Ukrainian organic products to Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada expands, also producers want to export more products with added value, — said Leshchenko. —
We believe that in general, providing the organic sector with a proper legal framework and adapting it to the requirements of EU Regulations will strengthen the confidence of the importers of Ukrainian organic products and raw materials towards Ukraine as a trade partner, also ensure the most effective control over organic market participants and will raise their level of responsibility. We believe that the Ministry has to actively support the organic market, involve international technical assistance and public organizations and interact directly with representatives of the organic sector in order for us to develop this area as much as possible. I think that, in terms of provision and implementation, the organic sphere for us — is a way to create high-quality added value.
In his welcoming speech, Viktor Shutkevych reminded that the Swiss Government has supported the development of the organic sector in Ukraine since 2002 and special attention is paid to the development of trade with higher added value in the Ukrainian organic sector.
«The Swiss Embassy relies on the best — organic producers. We have supported the development of the organic market in Ukraine since 2002. I visited the international exhibition of organic products BIOFACH in 2008 for the first time and since then I’ve kept being a supporter of the organic movement in Ukraine. I have always said that BIOFACH for Ukraine — is a business card. It’s very important for Ukraine to join the world’s showcase of organic products and present itself.
During BIOFACH a large number of meetings is conducted, a lot of work that leads to signing contracts and experience exchange are done. This, once again, testifies the demand for Ukrainian organic products and confirms their high quality. Unfortunately, the export market is developing faster in Ukraine but, first of all, organic products should be promoted on the internal market. Although Ukraine ranked 1st in Europe and 2nd in the world in terms of imports of organic products to the EU in 2019, we emphasize the importance of creating added value for Ukrainian organic products.
The Embassy of Switzerland comprehensively supports the agricultural sector of Ukraine by launching a number of projects. Last week, together with Roman Leshchenko, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, we launched a new phase of the «Agricultural Receipts in Ukraine» project, which will give farmers access to financing.»
ORGANIC UKRAINE BUSINESS HUB was organized by the Organic Ukraine NGO with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy in Ukraine program. The Swiss-Ukrainian Program «Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine» and the Export Promotion Office of Ukraine are partners in the preparation of the Ukrainian National Pavilion.
Also for the third time, a stand of organic berry companies was presented, it was organized by the Ukrainian Berry Association with the support of the ITC project «Eastern partnership: Ready to trade – EU4BUsiness initiative».
Online tour and participation in events of the exhibition for representatives of the public sector of Ukraine (the Ministry of Economy, State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection, State institution «Export Promotion Office of Ukraine», State Institution «Scientific and Methodological Center for Higher and Professional Higher Education») and participants of the sector are organized within the Swiss-Ukrainian Program «Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine».
Kateryna Shor, OrganicInfo.ua