Showcasing Ukraine’s organic exports

Supporting the economy, good health and climate change mitigation at the world’s biggest organic fair trade expo

September 6, 2022
Photo courtesy Organic Ukraine NGO

Ukraine’s organic agricultural producers presented their produce in July at BIOFACH in Nurnberg, Germany – the world’s largest organic fair trade expo. The event, which followed a pause of two and a half years due to COVID-19, attracted 24,000 trade visitors from 137 countries. With over 2,000 exhibitors from 94 countries, Ukraine’s National Pavilion was one of the key points of interest for businesses and politicians attending.

Ukraine presented more than 250 organic products at the exhibition, together with 10+ specialized services for the development of its organic sector. The pavilion also held over 1,000 -meetings with companies from the EU, Switzerland, USA, Canada, and others, signed over 10 contracts and so much more.

Oleksandr Muliar, manager of UNDP’s Supporting Green Recovery in Ukraine project said: “Despite the war, Ukraine continues to be a solid partner for over 200 importers of Ukraine’s products worldwide and this number continues to grow.”

According to “The world of organic agriculture. Statistics and New Trends 2022,” Ukraine ranked fourth in exports of organic products to the European Union in 2019 and 2020. Despite the ongoing war, most observers believe the country will continue developing and strengthening its leadership as one of the world’s primary exporters of agriculture and organic products.

Organic production has tremendous potential, as only 1.1 percent of Ukraine’s agricultural territory was used for organic production in 2020.  Further development of this sector has strategic implications not only for global food security, but also for the country’s effective mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

According to FAO, organically-managed systems contribute to climate change mitigation through the careful management of nutrients and, hence, the reduction of N2O emissions from soils. At the same time abstention from mineral fertilizers is calculated to be about 20 percent and the compensation potential by carbon sequestration to be about 40–72 percent of the world’s current annual agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The adaptation potential of organic agriculture systems for building resilient food systems is offered through alternatives to energy-intensive production inputs such as synthetic fertilizers. Organic agricultural systems achieve equal or even higher yields than those using chemical and petroleum-based fertilizers which translate into a potentially important option for food security and sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor in times of climate change. 

Ukraine possesses large territories that can be used for organic agriculture. Its energy efficiency and sustainability, combined with the potential contribution of organic production to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change, have driven the success of the domestic organic market, which showed steady growth by 3 percent in 2020.

Thanks to the joint efforts of  UNDP in Ukraine, Entrepreneur and Export Promotion Office, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Organic Ukraine NGO, Switzerland in the frame of the Programmes “Higher Value Added Trade from Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” and “Organic Trade for Development in Eastern Europe” (OT4D), the National Pavilion of Ukraine Organic Ukraine Business Hub, was organized making the country’s participation in BIOFACH 2022 a true success.

“We see tremendous potential of organic market development in Ukraine, as it is one of the key elements to food security, successful mitigation and adaptation to climate change,” noted Oleksandr Muliar. “It is a great responsibility for us and a great honour to support Ukraine on its path to strengthening its leadership and resilience as one of the key organic producers in the world. We are certain that with the joint efforts of UNDP and our partners we will contribute to Ukraine ensuring the wellbeing and prosperity of the country and its people.”