The formation of the organic market is as interesting as its current state and perspectives. We collected key stages of development of the organic market in Ukraine and around the world, also main events that influenced its evolution.
Milestones of organic production development
- In Ukraine
- In the world
Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Basic Principles and Requirements for Organic Production, Circulation and Labeling”
On August 8, amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Basic Principles and Requirements for Organic Production, Circulation and Labeling” came into force.
Changes aimed at preventing the suspension of trade in organic products in Ukraine related to the inability to meet the requirements of the law, as well as removing obstacles to Ukrainian producers receiving state support in the field of organic production and circulation of organic products.
The first campaign to promote organic products has started in Ukraine
The aim of the campaign is to promote certified organic products. We want to explain to the consumer what organic products are, what their advantages are, and how to distinguish them on store shelves.
Organic production in the National Economic Strategy of Ukraine
On March 3, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved «The National Economic Strategy until 2030», which officially sets the goal for % of land under organic production.
According to the strategy, it is planned that the percentage of lands with organic status should be at least 3% of the total area of agricultural lands in Ukraine, which is approximately 1.3 million hectares.
One more indicator of the strategy is to increase exports of organic products to 1 billion US dollars by 2030.
State support of organic producers in legislation
November 5 adopted amendments to the Law “On State Support of Agriculture of Ukraine”, which explicitly provides for the possibility of government support of organic agricultural products through:
- allocation of budget subsidies per unit of arable land and / or one head of cattle;
- reimbursement of up to 30 percent of the cost of certification of organic production;
- reimbursement of up to 30 percent of the cost of purchasing permitted plant protection products and fertilizers, seeds, planting material and fodder.
Attitude of consumers to organic products in Ukraine
For the first time in Ukraine, a large-scale study was conducted on consumer awareness and attitudes towards organic products.
Study in Ukraine was conducted by MZhub for Organic Initiative with the support of Switzerland within the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” is funded by Switzerland and implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) in partnership with SAFOSO AG (Switzerland), www.qftp.org.
Organic Initiative established
An organic initiative is an informal platform whose goal is to support producers of organic goods in Ukraine in order to increase trade in Ukrainian organic products with higher added value.
Organic initiative was launched in July 2020 and should become a space for creativity, exchange of ideas and joint actions.
In order to achieve their goal, participants of the organic private sector of Ukraine, activists of public organizations, leading consultants and service providers for producers of organic products have united.
Organic production for the Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine
The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine has published the first Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine. The review is devoted to the first stage of systematic work with CSW, which includes adaptation, monitoring of implementation and analysis of key trends for 2015-2019.
Almost all 17 goals are related to agriculture, as it affects all spheres of life in one way or another. At the same time, organic production is mentioned in the review in the context of fulfilling three goals.
The “organic” Law of Ukraine was applied
The Law of Ukraine “On the Main Principles and Requirements towards Organic Production, Circulation and Labelling of Organic Products” was applied. It was adopted by Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on July 10, 2018.
Ukraine became one of the 5 main exporters of organic products to EU
According to the European Commission, Ukraine took the 4th place in the world in organic production export to the EU in 2017 ― 266741 tons, it’s 8,2% of the overall organic production imported to the EU.
The presentation of the first official organic video clip “Organic in Ukraine”
The first official video was recorded by the company “Plan C” for the request of Ukrainian business representatives of the organic sector, and it was initiated by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. The creation of the video was made possible thanks to support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) under the project “Organic market development in Ukraine” (implemented by the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland)) and Western NIS Enterprise Fund financed by the United States Government via U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Video available on our web portal in the Knowledge base section – For sharing.
“Ukrainian Organic Cluster” was registered
The public organization “Ukrainian Organic Cluster” was founded. It unites organic producers from all over the country.
At the exhibition “BioFach”, the Ukrainian national pavilion was presented for the first time by the deputy minister of Minagropolicy
It was the first time the Ukrainian national pavilion was supported by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine at the “BioFach” exhibition, and the Ukrainian organic sector was presented by the Deputy Minister.
The official logo for Ukrainian organic products was presented
The Ukrainian logo for the labeling of organic products was officially presented.
The start of the portal “OrganicInfo”
It was the start of an information web portal aimed to promote organic production and organic food.
Organic production was announced as one of the priorities in the development of agricultural sector
For the first time, the development of the organic market was added to the Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development 2015-2020 and announced as one of the priorities in the development of the Ukrainian agro-industrial sector. Unfortunately, the strategy wasn’t approved by the government and kept being just a recommendation document.
The official support plan for organic production was first included in the state budget
In 2014, there were changes made to the Strategy for support and development of the agro-industrial complex in Lviv region 2013-2015 aimed to provide support for organic producers, in particular reimbursements for inspection and certification procedures. Lviv region was the first to adopt the possibility of government support for organic producers.
The official opening of the first Ukrainian national pavilion at BioFach
The Ukrainian pavilion was first presented at the exhibition “BioFach” ― the biggest exhibition of organic products in the world.
The Law of Ukraine “On production and turnover of organic agricultural products and raw materials” entered into force
It was the main legislative act in the sphere of organic market regulation and was replaced by the Law of Ukraine “On the Main Principles and Requirements towards Organic Production, Circulation and Labelling of Organic Products” in 2019.
The association of certified organic producers “Organic Ukraine” was registered
“Organic Ukraine” is focused on consolidation of Ukrainian certified organic producers for the organic market development in Ukraine and for the creation of a wide range of high-quality local products that would fully meet the demand of the population.
The first sub-regional review research on a “green economy” was conducted for Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine
UNEP along with governments, national and international organizations, that work in the sphere of agriculture, food production and economic development, initiated the sub-regional review research on a “green economy”. Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine were the first countries of the sub-region where the national projects aimed to prepare the research took place. The research contains suggestions regarding political reforms, investments and measures to be taken for a transition towards a “green economy”. In addition to the research, the initiative is aimed to perform some other work that would make the transition possible, in particular consulting regarding the transition and popularization.
Publication available on our web portal in the Knowledge base section – For sharing.
The first National fair of organic products was organized
The first National fair of organic products took place in Lviv. Since then, the fair has been organized annually and become the traditional meeting point for supporters of organic production.
For the first time, Ukrainian organic products were presented at BioFach
At the 20th international exhibition of organic production BioFach in Nuremberg (Germany), Ukrainian products were presented for the first time.
The opening of the first specialized store “Natur Boutique”
“Natur Boutique” was the first store specialized in organic production and it was opened in Kyiv.
The first Ukrainian organic produce appeared in shopping centers
On the shelves of the big supermarket networks in Kyiv, Ukrainian organic production appeared for the first time. These were the traditional for Ukraine groats: barley, wheat and pearl barley.
The Ukrainian certification body “Organic Standard” was registered
“Organic Standard” is accredited and included in the official list of the certification bodies recognized in the European Union, Switzerland, Canada and many other countries on the post-Soviet space.
The Organic Federation of Ukraine was registered
The organization aims to promote the values and worldviews usual for supporters of the global organic movement, also the increasing efficiency of agricultural production with the simultaneous development of safe technologies both for people and nature, and the development of the organic movement in Ukraine.
The Association of organic producers “BIOLan Ukraine” was registered
The organization was founded with the aim to protect the interests of organic producers. Its priorities are: building a network of organic producers in Ukraine, formation of the internal organic market, development of the legislation and regulatory framework for organic production in Ukraine.
The first documentary about organic production was released in Ukraine
The TV-documentary on organic agriculture “Where the city ends” was created by the Information Center “Green Dossier” with support of the office of the Counsellor of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Ukraine. The film was broadcasted on UT-1, UT-2, Tonis channels.
Video available on our web portal in the Knowledge base section – For sharing.
An agreement on technical and financial cooperation was signed between Ukrainian and Swiss governments
Thanks to this agreement, technical assistance projects were made possible, in particular regarding the development of organic agriculture in Ukraine. The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs has been providing Ukraine with constant support in the sphere of organic production and organic market development starting from 2014.
The first organic enterprise was registered ― PE “Agroecology”
In fact, the first organic production started at the Ordzhonikidze collective farm in 1978. So that’s the year to be considered as a start point for organic production on the Ukrainian lands and also “Agroecology” founding.
The international charity organization Information Center “Green Dossier” was registered
The organization promotes the principles of sustainability in society, their integration to national policy and government programs via spreading objective information about ecological and social issues to mass-media, local communities, authorities and business — thus engaging them into action.
Organic Action Plan
On March 25, 2021, the European Commission adopted and presented an Organic Action Plan.
The Action Plan aims to achieve the goal of the European Green Deal and its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies to increase the area under organic production by 25% by 2030, as well as increase the consumption of organic products.
The action plan proposes 23 measures, structured in three axis – increasing consumption, increasing production and further developing the sustainability of the sector to ensure its balanced growth.
Farm to Fork Strategy
The EU’s food strategy, launched in May 2020, calls for a transition to sustainable production and consumption systems – ensuring quality healthy food, ending environmentally destructive farming methods and promoting economic development in rural areas.
The strategy is part of a European Green Deal and will be supported by Common Agricultural Policy that is agreed in the summer of 2021.
The strategy sets a goal to convert up to 25% of agricultural land to organic production by 2030.
30 years of BioFach
BioFach ― is the world’s leading exhibition of organic products that is organized annually in Nurnberg (Germany). 51,5 thousand people from 144 countries visited the exhibition in the anniversary year, and the number of exhibits reached almost 3 thousand.
The new “organic” EU Regulation will be applied
The new EU Regulation 2018/848 was adopted on May 30, 2018. It has entered into force since 17.06.2018 and will be applied on January 1, 2022.
Canada and Japan agreed on mutual recognition of organic standards
The USA and Japan agreed on mutual recognition of organic standards
A regulation on mutual recognition of standards between the European Union and the USA entered into force
The agreement on consolidation of efforts between the European Union and the USA was signed in 2012. It was aimed to encourage the organic production development, protect organic standards and simplify imports/exports of organic products. According to the regulation that entered into force on June 1, 2012, the organic EU standards were considered equal to the US National Organic Program (NOP). Thus, the products certified in EU countries and the USA can be sold as organic in both regions without passing any additional certifications, though, there are some exceptions.
“Euro-leaf” became an official organic logo in the EU
The so-called “euro-leaf” (a star leaf on a green background, the organic logo adopted in the European Union) became an official label of organic products in the EU. The author of the logo was a student from Germany who had won an open competition, which the European Commission had been organizing for almost one year.
The USA and Canada signed an agreement on mutual recognition of organic standards
The USA and Canada signed an agreement on mutual recognition of organic standards.
There were updates made to organic legislation in the EU
Since 2007, the government regulation of the organic production sphere has been implemented on the basis of Directive №834/2007 in the EU. The Directive defines general frameworks and principles of organic agriculture, requirements to production of agricultural products, their processing, food production, characteristics and labeling, inspection/monitoring of organic products, including the products imported to the EU. The Directive covers all the EU countries. In Ukraine, organic certification is usually performed under this standard.
Uniform national standards for organically-produced agricultural products were established in the USA ― National Organic Program (NOP)
On demand of the United States Department of Agriculture, uniform national standards for organically-produced agricultural products were established in 2002 ― National Organic Program (NOP). Before that, all the states had their own legislation on the production and distribution of organic products. The uniform national standards for organic production aimed to ensure common organic standards across the country.
Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) was adopted
Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) ― is a national Japanese standard used for the certification of producers for the Japanese organic market. First, JAS was used for organic plants and processed organic plant-based products. Later, the standard had evolved and, starting September of 2005, JAS become applicable for organic livestock products, processed organic animal products and organic feeds.
The first regulation on organic production was adopted in the EU (EU Regulation 2092/91)
The foundation of Bio Suisse
With the founding of the Federation of Swiss organic farmers (Bio Swiss (Bio Suisse)), a new modern era had begun for organic agriculture. The same year, the first unified methods for organic agriculture were developed in Switzerland.
“IFOAM basic standards concerning organic production and processing” were made public
IFOAM developed the first “IFOAM basic standards concerning organic production and processing”. The standards are being constantly improved and recognized worldwide. Today, IFOAM has its own international accreditation program for certification bodies active in organic agriculture. The accreditation is based on IFOAM standards and is carried out by the IOAS, an international accreditation body founded by IFOAM.
The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) was founded
FiBL – is one of the world’s leading research and information centers for organic agriculture. The institute places a high priority on developing strong links between different fields of studies and quick knowledge transfer from science research and advisory work ― into agricultural practice.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) was founded
In Versailles (France), one of the world’s biggest and influential organizations was founded ― the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). It unites organizations of 120 countries across the world. The main goal of IFOAM is the dissemination of principles and practices of organic agriculture, regardless of national and language barriers.
The Soil Association developed its first organic standards
Soil Association organic standards had been developed during the 30-year research at the Suffolk farm. This research, entitled the Haughley Experiment, helped to develop the first Soil Association organic standards in 1967. Their main principle was that only “the living soil” should be the basis for successful organic farming.
The Soil Association was founded
The Soil Association was founded in 1964 by a group of people preoccupied with the impact of intensive farming systems after the Second World War.
The first experiment comparing organic and conventional agriculture was conducted
Lady Eve Balfour initiated a comparative study of organic and conventional agriculture in 1939. The experiment took place close to the town of Haughley (Suffolk County, Great Britain). At two neighboring farms, two opposite areas of agriculture were implemented ― organic and conventional. The results were thoroughly monitored, checked and compared. This was the first experiment of such kind. Lady Eve Balfour presented the results of the study in “The Living Soil”, a book that was published in 1943. The experiment and publishing of the book prompted the forming of the Soil Association, a propaganda group of the organic movement in Great Britain.
The first book about organic agriculture
The book “An Agricultural Testament”, in which Albert Howard described a concept called the “Law of Return”, was published. Later, it had become the definition of organic agriculture. While being an agricultural advisor in India, during 1905-1924, Sir Howard had seen that natural methods of farming used in India were much better than those advised by modern agricultural science. Sir Howard is considered the father of organic agriculture as he was the first who scientifically justified the benefits of organic farming.
The world’s first organic agriculture course
In the summer of 1924, Rudolf Steiner presented a course that was later named the first organic agriculture course. It was held for a group of more than one hundred farmers.
Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on biodynamic approach to agriculture were published in 1925. And though Steiner was motivated by spiritual and philosophic reasons, and not scientific, his teaching about biodynamic farming became the early version of what is now called “organic agriculture”.