The Organic Initiative was established in April 2020, having united the Ukrainian organic stakeholders with the aim to develop the market and increase trade with organic products on the domestic and international markets.
In 2020-2021 considerable work was done to prepare and launch the communication campaign to promote organic food products through digital channels and social networks. In particular, in the second half of 2020 the Organic Initiative conducted a research to study the Ukrainian consumers’ awareness about and attitude to organic products, and in the first half of 2021 it developed and launched the communication campaign with the aim to popularize certified organic products among Ukrainian consumers.
Stage 1 of the campaign to promote organic products was launched online at the end of May and has over 9 million views. Stage 2 was scheduled for early 2022.
On 17 February the Organic Initiative held a meeting with organic producers where the plan of stage 2 of the communication campaign (which had to last six months) with involvement of opinion leaders and producers was presented and preliminary approved.
Overall, the Organic Initiative activities are implemented through the working groups in the following areas:
- Increasing demand for organic products in Ukraine – the communication campaign to promote organic products was prepared within this working group.
- Introduction of organic products at schools and kindergartens in Ukraine – the activity is implemented in the frame of the Memorandum signed by Switzerland, First Lady of Ukraine and other partners on reforming the school nutrition with support of Switzerland in the frame of the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine”.
- Organic market development – by 24 February 2022 the working group activity had been focused on development of organic sales channels in Ukraine and facilitation of organic retail trade.
- Policy dialogue – participation in the Ministerial working group on organic production development.
On 24 February, due to the russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Organic Initiative suspended its work for several weeks. At the end of March, taking into account the situation in the organic market at that time, the Organic Initiative published the statement on support of the organic sector during the war and launched the Grant Program “Support of the organic sector in Ukraine».
In 2022 the Organic Initiative members decided to focus on 2 areas of activity:
a) supporting organic producers on the domestic market through the Grant Program,
b) supporting organic export from Ukraine to the international markets through constant communication with exporters, importers, and authorities.
The Organic Initiative continued its activities within the working groups “Policy dialogue” and “Introduction of organic products at schools and kindergartens in Ukraine”; however, the activity related to promotion of organic products on the domestic market was completely stopped.
The following key achievements of the Organic Initiative in 2022 can be highlighted:
- The Organic Initiative did not only continue its active work during the war, but was also able to enlist support of international partners and establish new partnerships. In particular, 11 partners from 9 countries are involved in support of the Grant Program.
- The Organic Initiative developed and implemented the effective system of small grants in the organic sector. The system was created for the first time: from forming a team, developing a package of documents and criteria of the Grant Program to final monitoring of grant implementation.
- In the frame of two stages of the Grant Program “Support of the organic sector in Ukraine” over 100 organic operators were supported for a total amount equivalent to USD 367,000.
- In 2022 the Organic Initiative’s website https://organicinitiative.org.ua/en/ was launched. It contains the description of the Organic Initiative’s activities, implemented projects, key news in the organic sector of Ukraine, and valuable materials in Ukrainian and English.
- In March and July two surveys were conducted to analyse the current status and needs of the organic business in Ukraine.
- Together with the partners the Organic Initiative prepared the publication “The Ukrainian Organic Sector Analysis. 8 months since the full-scale war in Ukraine”.
- The Organic Initiative was actively involved in organizing and holding international events which contributed to effective communication and finding new partners, donors, dissemination of important information and messages of the Organic Initiative: the online conference “Organic Export During the War” was held on 23 June, the Organic Day in Ukraine was held on 23 September, and on 22 November the international online event “Organic Export Days 2022 – Ukraine, Albania, Serbia» was officially opened.
- During 2022 the Organic Initiative made efforts to collect and publish the stories of organic operators from Ukraine in the Ukrainian and international mass media.
The detailed overview of the Organic Initiative’s activities in 2022 are presented in this report.
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