On June 21, a meeting of the Sounding Board of the Swiss-Ukrainian program “Higher Value Added Trade in the Organic and Dairy Sectors of Ukraine” (QFTP, Program), Dairy Sector Component, was held.

During the event, representatives of the private and public sectors identified the current problems and needs of the dairy sector and the strategic vision of the QFTP’s activities until June 30, 2025.

Manon Schuppers, Co-CEO of SAFOSO AG, noted that the Sounding Board is an important element of the annual planning of the Program’s activities.

“Discussing the problems and needs of the dairy sector with various stakeholders will allow the QFTP team to plan activities for the next year that will meet the needs of the sector. Based on the results of the discussion, we will prepare a document that will be used to develop the Dairy Sector component’s Activity plan for the next program year – from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025,” she said.

Oleg Osiyan, First Deputy Head of the the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP), thanked the QFTP team for the fruitful cooperation throughout the implementation of the Program.

According to him, joint communication and promotion of the Dairy Module – information and communication platform – among value chain actors for the implementation of the Raw milk control program was very important.

He emphasized the important steps that have already been taken to train SSUFSCP specialists, which will upgrade  their competencies on the way to improving the quality and safety of milk and dairy products.

“One of the important areas of work of SSUFSCP is to address the problem of antibiotic resistance in dairy farming. I hope that with the support of Switzerland within the framework of the joint QFTP program, we will be able to solve this problem. We have already had five years of successful cooperation in the implementation of the Raw Milk Control Program,” said Oleg Osiyan.

He added that on its way to EU membership, the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection needs advisory support on the implementation of food safety and quality regulations.

Mykola Tiebezh, Chief Specialist of the Food Safety Division of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Directorate of the Department of State Policy in the Field of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Food Security of the MAPF, noted that in cooperation with QFTP experts, key regulations on milk quality and safety were developed, in particular, the Order of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine No. 118 dated March 12, 2019. Currently, experts from the MAPF and QFTP are working on amendments to Resolution No. 10 on Approval of the Procedure and Criteria for Authorization of Accredited Laboratories and Order No. 49 on Approval of the Rules for Veterinary and Sanitary Examination of Milk and Dairy Products and Requirements for their Implementation. These regulations are important steps in bringing Ukraine’s dairy sector closer to the requirements of European legislation. 

Iryna Vysotska, Dairy Sector Component Coordinator, QFTP gave an overview of the state of the dairy sector in Ukraine and presented the achievements at the level of QFTP outputs.  These include improving the regulatory framework in line with EU legislation, enhancing the business environment, and increasing the trade potential of dairy producers in the domestic and foreign markets for higher value-added products.

“For the Dairy Sector Component, this event is an opportunity to take a broader look at the needs of the Ukrainian dairy market, understand the pain points, and set priorities for the next year. We are grateful to everyone who joined the discussion and worked with us to improve the quality and safety of dairy products in Ukraine and create new trade opportunities for producers,” she said.

Maksym Fasteyev, INFAGRO project partner, spoke about the prospects and potential for the development of Ukrainian dairy exports.

“Exports of dairy products from Ukraine should resume their growth dynamics in 2024. This projection is due to an increase in milk production, which, thanks to higher world prices, will create additional opportunities for Ukrainian exporters. The task of the latter is to study current opportunities and choose the best option for the target market and sales channel for their products,” he said.

Based on all the ideas collected during the Sounding Board meeting, the QFTP team will prepare an Activity plan for the next program year for further approval by the Steering Committee members. Also, during the Steering Committee meeting, the final developments of the strategic vision of the Program’s interventions, agreed by the SECO, will be presented to all stakeholders of the sector.