Everything goes as planned: organic is the priority

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“Organic production stays one of the five earlier determined priorities in the development of AIC” – said Taras Vysotskiy, the Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture, and assured that the implementation of the law goes as planned and without any obstacles.

On September 27, a round table was organized and the topic of discussion was “The implementation of the law “On the Main Principles and Requirements towards Organic Production, Circulation and Labelling of Organic Products” №2496-VIII: The review of the implementation of the new organic law. Role and function of competent authorities according to the new law. German experience.”

Participants — government officials, producers and distributors of organic products, representatives from profile associations, public organizations and international technical assistance projects — discussed the implementation of the new organic law in Ukraine, and German experts shared their own experience. Also, the new EU Regulation № 2018/848 was discussed as it’s going to apply from 2021 but affects the organic industry in Ukraine now.

At the moment, the ministry, even in the process of reform, is finishing the necessary regulations that have to determine the detailed rules for organic production and circulation of organic products, and also other procedures for implementation of the organic law such as creating three national registers of: market operators, certification bodies and organic seeds and planting material. Ministry representatives assured that registers and related procedures will be finished soon.

Meanwhile, producers are worried: how not to lose farmers’ interest in the development of the sector, while tightening the legislative norms? But legislators assured that the interests of Ukrainian producers are taken into account and all the implementations are discussed with certification bodies and farmers. Also, it’s beneficial to producers if Ukrainian norms meet the standards of the EU because this allows exporting more products to the European Union and increases consumer trust in Ukrainian production — thus sales.

The international experts expressed their views on implementation of the organic legislation in Ukraine, shared plans on organic market development in the European Union, and also lessons learned in the past — because at the moment Ukraine is going through the same processes, that took place in the EU 30 years ago. Stephen Dreesmenn, the representative of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, said that it’s expected, that market share of the organic production is going to increase to 20% in the EU within the next 5 years, and in some countries, Austria for example, the part of organic lands is already ⅕ of all lands. So there is every reason to believe that Europe will reach this goal within 5 years. It means that the organic market is going to grow and both Ukrainian and EU producers have a lot of advantages ahead.

Starting from the year 2021, the new EU Regulation № 2018/848 will be applied it includes tightened norms for organic production, so it’s better to start taking them into account now than rewriting the law later — experience shows that, first, rewriting is complicated, second, it’s hard for farms to switch to the new norms. Also, it’s necessary to implement higher standards for organic production now, because consumers have to be sure of the quality of organic products.

During the meeting, international experts have repeatedly stated that they expect Ukraine to be one of the main exporters to the EU. The new law provides all the necessary grounds for this, and also for development of the internal market of organic production in Ukraine.

The initiators of the round table were the projects  “EU Support to Agricultural and Food Policy Implementation in Ukraine” and “German-Ukrainian Cooperation in the Field of Organic Agriculture”

Photo of “EU Support to Agricultural and Food Policy Implementation in Ukraine”.

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