Country Report Ukraine
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Most of the 72 organic farms in the Ukraine running organically in 2005 were large companies with an average size of production area of 3,361 ha. Altogether, some 241,980 ha have been run according to organic guidelines. By the way of comparison: In 2001, some 25 organic farms had existed with an area of 112,500 ha. Smaller organic farms, with less than 100 ha, are in conversion at the moment. Some of the smaller farms grow vegetables or special crops, e. g. berries. The share of crop land on the total organically farmed area is 80 %.
At the moment, only cropping farms have completely converted into organic in the Ukraine. The first organic farms with animal production (dairy cows, fattening pigs and goats) are currently still in the conversion phase. The most important organic products in the Ukraine are grains (soft wheat and durum wheat, barley, maize, oats, buckwheat, millet), oilseed (sunflower, rape seed and mustard), essential oils (lavender, rose and rosemary) and legumes (soy beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas). First fruit growing farms in the western Ukraine have started to work organically. They comprise a proportion of 0.2 % on the entire organic farmland. Some farms, growing strawberries and vegetables, are still in the conversion period.
In 2006, the first Ukrainian processing companies that process organic raw material to organic food will start to work. The first products will be different groats/porridge, pasta, baby food and sunflower oil.
So far, there is almost no internal market for organic products in the country. However, as results of market surveys from 2005 and 2006 in the Ukraine show, potential consumers who would buy organic products, exist. Therefore, it is expected that a market for organic products will develop in the future.
Different associations that work for the development of organic products in the Ukraine started to work within the last five years. There is the “Union of organic farmers”, which is comprised of members that grow organic crops in their own gardens. In the year 2004, the Ukrainian-Swiss producer association “Biolan” was founded, supported by the Swiss government. Eventually in the year 2005, the “Organic Federation of Ukraine” was founded as an umbrella organization that aims at incorporating all organic producers, processors, scientific organisations, research stations and consumer associations.
The organic certification is currently done by foreign certification bodies. The enterprises are certified according to the EU regulation 2091/92, some also according to the North American standards (NOP). A big part of the certification is done by the certification body “Control Union” from the Netherlands. A Ukrainian national certification body is currently being installed by the “Organic Federation of Ukraine” and other main players of the Ukrainian organic markets with support of the SECO (Swiss Secretary for Economy). This certification body is estimated to start its active work in fall 2006.
Governmental support of organic production is almost non-existent in Ukraine, because there are no natural laws for organic production yet. In future, the production of organic milk is planned to be subsidized, for example. So far, the labelling “ecologically clean milk” means that this milk was produced in certain areas, but does not mean that this milk was produced according to organic farm standards. However, an Ukrainian national law on organic farming is in preparation at present. It will be presented to the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) by the end of 2006.