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Organic production in Ukraine remains one of the priorities

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In spite of the full-scale war and its consequences, organic producers continue working and have even increased their export volumes in 2022.

“Organic production remains one of the priorities for further development of agri-industrial complex of Ukraine”, stated Taras Vysotskyi, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, during the online conference “Organic Day in Ukraine”. 

During the conference, which was devoted to the celebration of the Organic Day, the results of the Organic Market Survey in Ukraine for 2021, the data on organic export in 2022, the operational monitoring data of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine on the area of certified organic land and market operators were presented. Moreover, the EU Commission published the annual overview of the EU imports of organic agri-food products.

Thus, according to the operational monitoring data, in 2021 there was a slight decrease in the area of certified organic agricultural lands and number of organic operators: 528 organic operators were certified under the equivalent EU organic standard and USDA NOP, including 418 agricultural producers, and the total area of agricultural land (organic and in-conversion) was 422,299 ha, of which 370,110 ha with organic status.

Unfortunately, it is expected that the area of organic lands will shrink in 2022 as a significant part is occupied in the southern regions of the country. Meanwhile, the operations on the lands liberated in early April have almost completely been resumed.

On the domestic market, 9,780 tonnes of organic products worth about UAH 900 million (equivalent to USD 33 million at the NBU exchange rate as of 31.12.2021) are estimated to have been sold in 2021. It is hard to make predictions for 2022, as production has declined, supply chains have changed, significant number of consumers have left, etc.   

According to the organic market survey, which was made public during the conference, in 2021 Ukraine exported about 260,000 tonnes of organic products worth USD 220 million to over 30 counties, 82% of which were exported to the EU. 

These figures are in line with the EU Commission brief published on the EU Organic Day.  

In 2021 Ukraine slightly reduced the export volumes to the EU (189,239 tonnes in 2021 compared to 217,210 tonnes in 2020), but it still remained among TOP 5 organic suppliers to the EU.  The total share of Ukrainian organic imports was 6.6% in 2021.

The biggest organic importers to the EU were Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, India, Peru, Ukraine, Turkey, the UK, China, Columbia, and Mexico.  These 10 countries together supplied almost 63% of all organic products.

The peculiarity of 2021 was that imports from the UK had been accounted for the first time.   

As for the imports from Ukraine, it ranked No 1 by organic import volumes of cereals (other than wheat and rice), and was among TOP 3 suppliers of oilcakes, oilseeds and soybeans. In addition, Ukraine moved up into the second place by organic import volumes of fruit (fresh or dried fruit and berries, excluding citrus and tropical fruit).

Overall, in 2021 Ukraine supplied the following products to the EU:  

Key product categoriesImport volume (thousand tonnes)Share in total imports to the EU, %
Cereals (other than wheat and rice)89.547.3
Fruit (excluding citrus and tropical fruit)20.110.6
Soybeans17.29.1
Oilseeds (excluding soybeans)16.78.8
Oilcakes13.26.9
Wheat11.25.9
Vegetable oils (other than palm and olive oils)5.63.0
Flour and other products of the milling industry  4.52.4
TRACES data

According to the data from Organic Standard LLC, in spite of disrupted supply chains and blockage of seaports, the organic export volumes in 2022 have already exceeded the volumes in 2021. The organic export from Ukraine to the EU and Switzerland amounted to 160,020 tonnes in the first six months of 2022. It was 128,840 tonnes in the same period of 2021. 

More information in the conference materials and the infographics:

Infographics on organic domestic market of Ukraine:

Infographics on organic export from Ukraine:

Organic Market Study of Ukraine 2019-2020 (in Ukrainian only)

Kateryna Shor, OrganicInfo.ua

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