Warm greetings to you, your family, and your team with Christmas and New Year!
2022 will remain in our memories as the year of unity and the invincible spirit of the Ukrainian people who, despite extraordinary difficulties, continue working and bringing our common victory closer. Despite the full-scale war, the organic sector of Ukraine continues developing, and a number of important events have taken place throughout the year. Let’s recall together the most important things that have happened in the Ukrainian organic sector in 2022.
This year the whole world has united to support Ukraine in general and the organic sector of Ukraine in particular. Support of organic producers and capacity development of policy makers, service providers and other organic stakeholders of Ukraine were and continue to be our priority.
The year 2022 in the organic sector of Ukraine started with qualification exams for inspectors of certification bodies, which were organised by the relevant ministry. The first 22 candidates successfully passed the exam on 12 January, and 9 more candidates were examined on 4 February. So this year 31 candidates have received the certificate of inspector for organic production and/or circulation of organic products. This allowed certification bodies to start the accreditation procedure and make another important step for starting the implementation of the Ukrainian organic legislation in full measure.
On 1-3 February the online training “Organic Module on Capacity Development for State Servants dedicated to Organic Production, Circulation and Labelling of Organic Products” was organised. The event gathered about 180 participants, including the specialists of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection, and the State Institution “Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office” (EEPO). The training was organised by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and Organic Standard in partnership with Organic Ukraine NGO.
After the russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, organic companies have suffered numerous negative consequences. At the beginning of March, aiming to analyse the current situation in the Ukrainian organic sector and define its urgent needs Organic Ukraine NGO and Organic Initiative carried out the first survey of Ukrainian organic businesses. Based on its results, Organic Initiative launched the Grant Program “Support of the organic sector in Ukraine” to support organic producers and other organic operators, to preserve and strengthen the organic sector’s capacity in the mid-and long-term. In July, the second survey was conducted after five months of the full-scale invasion and the organic operators’ needs were defined. Thus, within two phases of the Organic Initiative’s Grant Program about 100 organic operators were supported at the total of USD 366,000. The Grant Program was financially supported by Switzerland, Canada, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and local partners.
Traditionally, the Organic Map of Ukraine has been elaborated according to the operational monitoring data collected by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine from the foreign certification bodies that certified organic production and circulation of organic products in Ukraine. As of the end of 2021, there were 528 organic operators in Ukraine, including 418 agricultural producers; the total area of organic and in-conversion agricultural lands in Ukraine was 422,299 hectares (including 370,110 hectares of organic agricultural lands).
The Ministerial organic working group with the participation of the organic stakeholders and experts of international technical assistance programs has been regularly and fruitfully working throughout the year. All the by-laws have already been adopted, which is a key step for the full implementation of the Ukrainian organic legislation. Currently Ministerial organic working group which consists from Ukrainian policy makers, local organic stakeholders and international projects QFTP, OT4D, COA, IPRSA, continues its work on adaptation of the Ukrainian organic legislation to the new EU organic regulation.
On 16-17 June, Ukraine participated in the 16th European Organic Congress in Bordeaux (France). On the first day of the Congress the Ukrainian delegation together with the Congress organisers held a press conference, during which they called the organic community to join in supporting the Ukrainian organic sector and Ukraine in general.
The State Institution “Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office” (EEPO, Ukraine) continues to actively support the organic export of Ukraine by contributing to the export competencies of Ukrainian organic exporters, as well as promoting the Ukrainian organic sector abroad and contributing to a positive image of Ukraine as a reliable supplier of organic products. Thus, on 23 June the conference “Organic Export During the War” was held, where speakers presented a lot of important information and the Catalogue of Ukrainian Organic Exporters 2022 was launched.
From 26 to 29 July 2022, 32 Ukrainian companies presented the organic export potential of Ukraine and their products at the world’s largest organic trade fair “Biofach 2022”, which took place in Nuremberg (Germany) and was held in summer for the first time. The trade fair gathered over 24,000 visitors from 137 countries. Despite the full-scale war, Ukraine was presented at Biofach with two pavilions: the National Pavilion of Ukraine “Organic Ukraine Business Hub”, organised by EEPO together with Organic Ukraine NGO and national project Diia.Business in partnership with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine; and Pavilion organised by the Ukrainian Berries Association, Organic Federation of Ukraine, and Biodynamics of Ukraine NGO. The Ukrainian pavilions drew a lot of attention of the international community and, particularly, high-ranking officials, for instance, EU Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski and German Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Ozdemir, as well as others who visited the Ukrainian exhibitors. In the new year, the National Pavilion of Ukraine will celebrate its 10th anniversary at Biofach, which will take place on 14-17 February 2023.
The first Organics Europe Youth Event took place on 31 August – 1 September in Frick (Switzerland), where representatives from Ukraine raised the topic of supporting the organic sector in Ukraine during the war, which aroused high interest and lively discussion among the participants.
On 14 September, the International Action Day #IGrowYourFood 2022 was held, which aimed to draw attention to organic producers around the world and give them the opportunity to tell their stories. Ukraine joined the international campaign for the third time: 7 Ukrainian organic producers told their stories about extremely difficult production conditions during the war.
On 23 September, Ukraine celebrated the Organic Day together with the EU for the first time, in the frame of which a number of events aiming to develop and support the Ukrainian organic sector were held with the support of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. In particular, the international conference “Organic Day in Ukraine” was organised and Ukraine was marked on the European Organic Map. In addition, upon the initiative of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and Ukrainian organic producers from Kyiv city, Odesa and Zhytomyr regions, the campaign “Organic Products for Children” took place in Kotsiubynske village (Kyiv region). Internally displaced persons, large families, children with disabilities, and orphans were treated to organic snacks, dairy products, fruits, and chocolate.
In October, the topic of organic consumption was integrated into the governmental web portal “Znaimo”, developed in the frame of the School Food Reform initiated by First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska. Get acquainted with the first articles on the organic topic at “Znaimo”: Organic Products – the Best from Nature, Organic School Meal Programmes in the EU: a Step to Sustainable Food System in Europe and 50% of School Meals in Sweden are Organic.
The online event “Organic Export Days 2022 – Ukraine, Albania, Serbia” was officially launched on 22 November. Importers, representatives of international trade organisations, and exporters from Ukraine, Albania and Serbia participated in B2B meetings, which were held online from 22 November to 2 December 2022 on the B2Match platform. Despite temporary occupation of one-third of organic agricultural lands, hostilities, and logistical problems, for 10 months of 2022 Ukraine has exported to the EU and Switzerland 30% more organic products that for the same period of 2021 (Traces and Organic Standard).
Ukraine remains among the Top 5 suppliers of organic products to the European Union. In particular, in 2021, Ukraine ranked 5th overall and 1st among non-tropical countries by volume of organic products imported to the EU according to the latest report of the European Commission 2021.
The official website of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine has a separate section in Ukrainian and English that is specifically dedicated to organic production. Everyone can find necessary and reliable information about the Ukrainian organic legislation, organic production in Ukraine, main events in the Ukrainian organic sector, etc.
The State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP) maintains the List of foreign certification bodies (available in Ukrainian only).
This year a number of publications about organic have been developed and distributed, including:
- The Organic Market Survey of Ukraine (infographics 2021), organic export and domestic markets.
- The Ukrainian Organic Sector Analysis: 8 months since the full-scale war in Ukraine.
- Directory of consultants on organic production and organic market 2022.
Organic production and, in particular, the organic sector of Ukraine, continue to be an interesting topic for mass media not only in Ukraine, but also internationally. Throughout 2022 the mass media from Switzerland, the Czech Republic, France, Italy and other countries have written about courageous Ukrainian organic stakeholders.
Switzerland has been supporting organic market development in Ukraine for 20 years within the Swiss technical assistance projects (SECO and SDC).
Abovementioned events were organised, and the materials were developed and disseminated by the stakeholders of the Ukrainian organic sector, state representatives with the support of Switzerland within the framework of the Swiss-Ukrainian Programs “Higher Value Added Trade from Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” (QFTP) and “Organic Trade 4 Development in Eastern Europe” (OT4D).
The provided list of organic sector activities and materials is not exclusive.
We kindly invite you
- to trade with Ukrainian organic exporters – meet them at the Biofach 2023 (stall 4A-511),
- to support Ukrainian organic SMEs through Organic Initiative Grant Program “Support of the organic sector in Ukraine” – Donate,
- to cooperate with Ukrainian policy makers.
Thank you for your contribution to development and support of the organic sector of Ukraine!
May the new 2023 be filled with support, warmth and joy in the circle of your dearest people! Be happy and healthy!
We all pray for victory, peace and safety in Ukraine!
Sincerely and with best wishes,
Teams of the Swiss-Ukrainian Programs