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Organic production in Ukraine

19.01.2024 11:45 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) According to data of the operational monitoring, conducted by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine from the certification bodies that certified organic production and circulation of organic products in Ukraine in accordance with a standard equivalent to Council Regulation (EU) No 834/2007 and NOP (USA) as of 31.12.2022 the total area of agricultural land under organic production and in-conversion is 263,619 hectares (0.6% of the total area of agricultural land in Ukraine), including the area of organic agricultural land — 246,126 hectares, the area of agricultural land in-conversion — 17,493 hectares. The total number of operators is 462, including 380 agricultural producers.

In recent years, before the full-scale war in Ukraine, the domestic organic consumer market continued to expand through the biggest supermarket chains. The main organic products consumed in Ukraine are milk and dairy products, vegetables, fruits and mushrooms, cereals and groats, flour, seeds, snacks, eggs, meat products, juices, beverages, pastes, canned products, oils, condiments and spices, sugar and other products, including bakery products, varenyky (dumplings with different fillings), pelmeni (meat dumplings), honey, chocolate, and tea and coffee.

Due to the full-scale war, domestic sales of Ukrainian organic products decreased by 36% in volume (6,280 tons) and 48% in value (about 17 million USD) in 2022 compared to 2021 (according to the Organic Market Survey in Ukraine, which was conducted by Organic Standard LLC in partnership with Organicinfo.ua with the support of Switzerland within the framework of the Swiss-Ukrainian programs «Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine» (QFTP) and «Organic Trade for Development» (OT4D)). For more details about the domestic organic market follow the link.

Export

According to Organic Standard LLC, despite the full-scale war, during 2022 Ukraine exported 245,600 metric tons of organic products in the amount of USD 219 million to 36 countries around the world which is almost the same as in 2021 (261,000 metric tonnes, USD 222 million). Export of organic products from Ukraine is focused mainly on European countries (95%). The volume of organic exports to European countries increased for railway and road vehicles, but decreased for vessels, in particular, air transportation for export from Ukraine became impossible.

The largest importing countries of Ukrainian organic products in 2022 were the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Lithuania, the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic. Ukrainian organic producers also exported to some countries in Asia and North America.

The TOP 3 organic export products from Ukraine that were supplied to the international markets were corn, soybeans, and wheat. Other exported products were sunflower oil, sunflower cake, sunflower seeds, frozen blueberries, barley, rapeseed, millet, and other products.

According to the European Commission Report in 2022 Ukraine rose two positions higher compared to 2021 and ranked the 3rd out of 125 countries by volume of organic products imported to the EU. Thus, in 2022 the EU imported 2.73 million tonnes of organic agri-food products from different countries, including 219 thousand tonnes (8%) from Ukraine, which is 85% of total Ukrainian organic export. Ukraine had leading positions among exporting countries to the EU in terms of import volume of organic grain, except wheat and rice, which amounted to 93 thousand tonnes (77.1%), and organic oilseeds, excluding soybeans, which amounted to 20 thousand tonnes (22%).

The State Institution «Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office» (hereinafter — the Office), which aims to promote the development and support of small and medium-sized enterprises, support and promote the export of goods, works and services of Ukrainian producers in accordance with the program documents of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and other state planning documents, started supporting the organic export market of Ukraine in 2019. The Office contributes to the development of the Ukrainian organic exporters potential, promotion of the organic sector and formation of a positive image of Ukraine as a reliable supplier of organic products abroad. The Office actively supports and organises various events for organic exporters, including national pavilions at key international trade fairs, such as Biofach (Germany), Anuga (Germany), and Middle East Organic & Natural Products Expo (UAE).

Legislative regulation of the organic market in Ukraine 

Organic production in Ukraine is regulated by the Law of Ukraine «On Basic Principles and Requirements for Organic Production, Circulation and Labelling of Organic Products» (hereinafter — the Law) and relevant by-laws.

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine carries out practical measures regarding the implementation of organic legislation. Thus, since 2022, the Ministry, in accordance with the requirements of Article 30 of the Law, has conducted qualification exams for the candidates who intend to become inspectors in organic production, when requested. Currently, 36 persons received the certificate of inspector for organic production and/or circulation of organic products. This enabled certification bodies that intend to be included in the Register of Certification Bodies and to carry out certification of organic production in accordance with the requirements of the Ukrainian legislation in this sector, to start fulfilling the next requirement of Article 28 of the Law — accreditation by the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine.

In May 2023 the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine issued the first accreditation certificate to Organic Standard LLC. In June 2023 the certification body is included in the State Register of Certification Bodies in Organic Production and Circulation of Organic Products which allowed it to certify organic production and circulation of organic products in accordance with the requirements of the law. In August of the same year, the State Register of Operators the Produce Organic Products in Compliance with the Legislation in Organic Production, Circulation and Labelling of Organic Products was launched. Find the registers of organic production, circulation and labelling of organic products here.

In September 2023, the first organic product labelled with the Ukrainian state logo for organic products appeared in Ukraine. This product was organic Carpathian herbal tea from Molfar Eco LLC (Zakarpattia oblast).

Cooperation with international technical assistance projects 

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine cooperates with international projects that aim at the development of organic production and circulation of organic products in Ukraine, in particular:

1.  Swiss-Ukrainian program «Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine» (QFTP), financed by Switzerland and implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) in partnership with SAFOSO AG (Switzerland).

2. Project "German-Ukrainian Cooperation in Organic Agriculture" (COA).

3. Program «Organic Trade for Development in Eastern Europe» (OT4D), financed by Switzerland through Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by IFOAM — Organics International in partnership HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland).

4. EU Project «Institutional and Policy Reform for Smallholder Agriculture» (IPRSA)

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