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"Fruit and Vegetables of Ukraine-2015. Reset ": the new realities of Ukrainian produce business


The event is traditionally held in the framework of professional exhibition of fruit and vegetables B2B format - «Fresh Business Expo 2015" and lasts for 3 days.

In the period from 1 to 3 December the leading Ukrainian and foreign participants of the fruit and vegetables market came to Kyiv to attend the event in the framework of the Twelfth International Conference "Fruit and Vegetables of Ukraine-2015. Reset. " The event is traditionally held in the framework of professional exhibition of fruit and vegetables B2B format - «Fresh Business Expo 2015" and lasts for 3 days.

The The event is organized by the project "APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruit". General sponsor of the conference  is "Fito-Mag" company,  the general media partner  is the magazine "Fruit and Vegetables" and the exclusive media partner is the magazine "Vegetable - growing".

According to the event organizers, the motto of the twelfth international conference "Fruits and Vegetables 2015 Reset" fully reflects the situation on the fruit and vegetables market of Ukraine at the moment.

" Last year, here in Kyiv, we talked about the fact that Ukrainian fruit and vegetable market was a subject to significant changes, but nobody could imagine that the situation would change so dynamically, - said Tatyana Getman, the project manager " APK-Inform: Vegetables and fruit". - Today the participants of Ukrainian fruit and vegetable business face a completely new reality. Geopolitical situation in the country is quite unstable,  we face global changes in the economic situation, continuing war in Donbas.  Crimea loss is one of the main problems as it was the main source of deliveries of fruit and vegetables from Ukraine to Russia ... And that is not nearly all the problems Ukrainian farmers will have to deal with in the current season. "

T.Getman emphasizes that in the current season, farmers were forced to save on the most basic production resource, which has become noticeable more expensive in proportion to the devaluation of the hryvnia. As a result, the prices for almost all Borshch set of vegetables and potatoes have dropped significantly, which has led to production decline.

We could notice the most significant decline in grapes, peaches and nectarines production. At the same time the apple harvest has significantly increased.

"The most difficult situation of the season 2015/16 exists with apple marketing. Ukraine has managed to collect one of the best crops of these fruits in the history of country’s independence, while export of apples is very limited, - the expert continues. - Unfortunately, most farmers have not drawn any conclusions after the Russian embargo. Almost nobody have no thought to the alternative external markets, last season all the crops of the apple was exported to Russia through the Crimea. "

The situation got really complicated in September 2015 after the beginning of the blockade on fruit and vegetable supply from Ukraine to the Crimean peninsula. Today, marketing to Russia has become virtually impossible, and farmers are forced to sell the apple crop in the domestic market.

"In this situation, Ukrainian farmers are willy-nilly forced to think about export diversification - T. Getman emphasizes - Otherwise, next season the situation will become very depressing. Prospects for the resumption of deliveries to the Russian market are very vague, whereas production decline is impossible since the intensification of the gardens results in the constant increase in the harvest. "

The expert stresses that the export is one of the main conditions for the harmonious development of Ukrainian fruit and vegetable business. Alexander Marchenko , Commercial Director of "C-sprout shares the view with T. Getman." At the same time, he notes that a sustainable export gives farmers a number of advantages: risk diversification and a significant reduction of dependence on the domestic market, as well as obtaining foreign exchange earnings.

"Unfortunately, the Ukrainian farmers turn to export only if they have problems with the sale within the country, however, this approach to business is fundamentally wrong - A.Marchenko says. - Our company has a positive export experience, including EU market, so I can  say that  Ukrainian products can be very popular on the external market. For example, Ukrainian onions and garlic may  interest buyers from the EU and Central Asia. At the same time Middle East countries such as United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, etc., are ready to buy root vegetables and cabbage, especially in the period from July to September. "

According to Fedor Rybalko, the founder of the company "Western retail" Ukrainian fruit and vegetables have the capacity to enter the EU market. "In the face of the continuing lack of possibility for  marketing to Russia, a number of farmers decided to diversify their production, and they actually did it. Moreover, it turned out that the Ukrainian products may be of extreme demand  on the European market. The proof of this is a record export of greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers to the EU. However, Ukrainian products from the field is not needed in the EU, so we have to work hard on the development of infrastructure pre-completion and logistics ", - the expert said.

At the same time, according to Mary Lakeevoy,a project analyst "APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruit" greenhouse complexes of Ukraine in 2016 have the potential to increase significantly the supply of cucumber and tomato on the EU market subject to the availability of an international certificate.

"In 2015, Ukrainian greenhouse products were sold mainly to Poland and the Baltic countries, since the availability of an international certificat is not obligatory in these countries. But in order to expand the area of supplies of cucumber and tomato to the European Union, Ukrainian industrial complexes in Ukraine must think of international certification"- the expert says.

On the second day of the conference the theme of standardization and certification of fruit and vegetables was the subject of a forum in which the Ukrainian and international experts repeatedly stressed that the presence of GlobalGAP certificate is the necessary condition for them to be able to export fruit and vegetables. Also was mentioned that without a standardization it is practically impossible for Ukrainian products to get on the EU store shelves.

Another condition for a successful entry into the European market for small farms, according to experts, is a co-operation. Experts point out that this kind of interaction will help small-scale farmers to diversify supplies and reduce risks. In the course of her speech, Irina Barz an assistant director of "Agrofirma" Spring 2011 " said that there is already a successful practice of such cooperation in Ukraine.

In the framework of the Technology Forum participants were invited to attend two master classes from leading experts. In particular, Igor Chechetko expert on potato market and GlobalGAP certification, spoke about the best technologies of potato production and criteria for selection of seedlings. In turn, Vadim Dudka, director of "Agroanaliz", analyzed the main problems with growing vegetables on drip irrigation and methods solutions to these problems.

On the third day of the conference, December 3, the fifth International Trade Forum was held. Such a trade forum in Ukraine is a unique experience and has already managed to get positive feedback from both the importers and the largest supermarket chains in Ukraine, as well as suppliers from different countries. This year's event was attended by representatives of more than 25 Ukrainian retail chains and major wholesalers.

In total, the event was attended by 280 delegates representing 159 companies from 9 countries.

The organizer of the conference "Fruit and Vegetables of Ukraine-2015. Reset "- project" APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruit " thanks all the participants for showing interest expressed to the event. We hope that the information obtained in the course of the conference will be most useful and will help you to fully realize the potential which is today available  in Ukraine.

We hope for further fruitful cooperation and look forward to our next meeting at the conference!

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