Fair for organic grown and processed products

Local residents of Lviv Oblast have access to improved sanitary conditions and healthy food and drinking water

CCB’s local partner Lviv municipal public organisation  “Ecoterra”  arranged a fair for organic grown and processed products in Lviv 1-2 October 2016.

Natalia Hmyz, the Director of the Department of Agriculture at Lviv Regional Administration has opened the Fair with following words: “I am not the honoured guest here, it is you, all producers of organic food, that are our honoured guests”. Farmers had come to participate from Lviv region and the Carpaths, some all the way from Kiev. She stressed the importance of the certification process, which is repeated annually for the certified farmers processecors and retailers. (The program  to support organic producers in the Lviv region operated during 2014 – 2015.  Now there is a new program that does not compensate for the cost of organic certification.)  Price certification of organic production depends on the type (crops, livestock, processing production). The approximate price for certification can range from 13 000 UAH per year and more.

Natalia Hmyz the Director at Ministry of the Department of Agriculture together with Mr. Nicole Perene, agricultural adviser at the French Embassy in Kiev and Natalia Cholovska, director of Lviv Municipal Organisation “Ectoerra”s at the opening event ot the agricultural fair for organic products in Lviv.

The Ukrainian authorities are very favourable towards organic farming and have suggested that the fair could be held on a monthly basis in localities that they provide. This is an important step as the farmers have problems to reach out to the customers. There fairs for farmers have been organized throughout the year in different parts of Lviv region. But it has not been fairs for organic products, although they can separately take part in those fairs.

CCB has three goals for the program, which should be achieved through training for farmers , they are:

  • Reduced eutrophication of surface waters which is of importance for the Baltic Sea and is promoted through the introduction of organic farming
    • positive effects for the local population of the introduction of organic farming have also become important sub goals:
      • Reduced nitrates pollution of water in drinking water wells.
      • Access to healthy food

The farmers and representatives of processing enterprises and retailers have got in contact with each other and with Ecoterra either via internet or via the annual fairs.

Interest from consumers, and an opportunity to dispose of the products, is a key issue for farmers to take the step to switch to organic production. Therefore Ecoterra arranges the annual fair. And this gives an opportunity for the farmers to meet and discuss their problems concerning primarily the lack of profitability and difficulties in marketing of the products.

This year Ecoterra arranged seminars with focus on cooperation: “how to establish clusters” (a way to enhance the profitability).

In the fair and the seminars participated representatives for producers, processing enterprises and retailers, Organic Standard (certifying organisation), Lviv Agricultural University and experts on marketing and on formation of clusters. A strong promoter of the fair is the Swiss organisation FIBl.

Seminar with growers on how to form clusters to strengthen the marketing of their products.

A representative from the French Embassy, in Kiev Mr. Nicole Perene, described the strong position that organic farming has got in France where it encompasses about 10% of all farming, which mostly consists of family farms. About 28 000 families/68 000 individuals, live by organic farming, at  an average of 25 hectares compared to conventional farming at an average of 35 hectares. He described how they have been successful in France with the formation of clusters in order to promote organic farming.

Mr Nicole Perene adviced not to start a cluster without a questionnaire in beforehand among the producers in order to find out about their specific problems. He also mentioned that consumers, besides from being part of the cluster also could unite in consumer entities. He suggested as very important to publish magazines on organic production. He also stressed that it was important to analyse how to make organic production competitive. The message to the producers should be “not give up hope”. But they should be given realistic advice, he said. He also stated that even if organic farming is relatively strong in France, they still have a larger demand than supply and France could be a potential market for organic production in Ukraine.

Anna Antoniuk Ukrainian expert on formation of clusters, from the NGO Agro Lviv Consult, participated in the seminar and gave a description of how the clusters are formed. She stated that more than 50% of the cluster should consist of producers.

Anna Antoniuk informed that besides from member fees, the clusters need funding. This can be obtained from UN, who has supported clusters in Donetsk and Luhansk. EU has also given support to formation of clusters. Important is that clusters actually can contribute to enhance the profitability of the production. There are already around 110 registered clusters in Ukraine, however many are not active.

Full report of the event is available at CCB’s website.



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