Before the outbreak of the full-scale war in Ukraine the Organic Initiative implemented a number of projects. Several working groups worked in the following areas: “Increasing Demand for Organic Products in Ukraine”, “Policy Dialogue”, “Introduction of Organic Meals in Schools and Kindergartens of Ukraine”, “Organic Market Development”.
Consumer research "Awareness and Perception of Organic Products in Ukraine", 2020
In November 2020 the Organic Initiative conducted a research to study the Ukrainian consumers’ awareness about and attitude to organic products. The research was focused on the analysis of what the Ukrainians know about certified organic products, their attitude to these products, as well as behaviour analysis as to consumption of organic products.
The project was implemented in preparation to the comprehensive communication campaign aimed at final consumers to popularize organic products in Ukraine. The research was conducted by MZ Hub experts among the residents of the 5 biggest cities of Ukraine, i.e. Dnipro, Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, and Kharkiv.
The research covers the following aspects:
- Key segments of consumers of organic products and their behavioural characteristics in this category
- Important drivers for choosing organic products which the main consumer segments have
- Perception barriers and criteria for choosing organic products
- Consumers’ stereotypes and misconceptions with regard to organic products
The research was conducted with financial support of Switzerland in the frame of the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) in partnership with SAFOSO AG (Switzerland), www.qftp.org.
The large-scale communication campaign to popularize certified organic products among the Ukrainian consumers
In May 2021 the Organic Initiative launched the communication campaign which will last for several years and can significantly increase the Ukrainians’ awareness about and loyalty to organic products. The aim of the campaign is to popularize certified organic products, explain what organic products are and how to identify them on the supermarket shelves.
This is because the research “Awareness and Perception of Organic Products in Ukraine”, conducted by MZ hub at the request of the Organic Initiative at the end of 2020, showed that 78% of Ukrainian consumers are ready to buy organic products, but they lack information which will help them to make a choice in favour of organic products.
Stage 1 of the campaign to promote organic products was launched online at the end of May and has over 9 million views. In the frame of the campaign videos, banners and website about.organicinfo.ua were developed. By following the link the consumers may learn more about organic food and find the catalogues of organic producers and products.
The project of introducing organic meals in schools and kindergartens
In 2021 the Organic Initiative created the working group “Facilitating Introduction of Organic Meals in Schools and Kindergartens of Ukraine”.
The group acts according to the MoU on school meals reform between the Embassy of Switzerland, the first lady of Ukraine and other partners which is implemented in the frame of the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine”.
The working group aims to introduce organic meals in schools and kindergartens of Ukraine.
The short-term plans:
- Research of the current situation and SWAT analysis
- Legal audit of the effective legislation and regulatory framework with regard to school and kindergarten meals in order to include organic food in school/kindergarten meals
- Development of the Roadmap for introduction of organic meals in schools and kindergartens of Ukraine.
During 2021 the working group analysed the current situation related to introduction of organic meals in public education facilities of Ukraine. The group involved a number of partners and organizations, organic producers and operators in the analysis, developed a SWOT analysis and started working on the roadmap for introduction of organic meals in public schools and kindergartens.
As of 22 February 2022 the result was “Research of the Current Situation with Public Procurement of School/Kindergarten Meals (SWOT analysis) to Introduce Organic Meals in Schools and Kindergartens of Ukraine”.
International online conference "Organic Export During the War" and Catalogue of Organic Exporters of Ukraine 2022
In support of organic export from Ukraine the Organic Initiative, together with the partners, organized the International Conference “Organic Export During the War”.
In addition, in preparation to the online conference the EEPO, together with the partners, developed the Catalogue of Organic Exporters of Ukraine 2022 which includes the profiles of about 100 national organic exporters. For the catalogue visit https://cutt.ly/HKEb84t
The event gathered about 160 participants, including over 50 representatives of foreign companies from Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Poland, and other countries.
The following topics were discussed during the conference:
- situation in the organic sector of Ukraine and its export potential during the war;
- liberalization of access for Ukrainian goods to the EU;
- organic certification, organic legislation of Ukraine;
- success stories of cooperation between Ukrainian organic exporters and international buyers in recent months;
- alternative logistics routes for organic export to different European countries;
- international organic events which Ukraine will attend.
The representatives of the EU Commission, Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office, Organic Standard, Swiss-Ukrainian Programs Quality FOOD Trade Program and OT4D, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Ukrainian organic exporters, international importers and other experts discussed the problems in the organic sector and proposed their solutions.
We are grateful to our partners for organising the event, involvement in the operators’ problems and an opportunity to reveal the export potential of the Ukrainian organic sector to the international community.
Watch the conference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zu0Pgt6Ux8
*The event was organised by the State Institution “Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office” in the framework of the state project Diia.Business together with Organic Standard certification body and the Organic Initiative, and supported by Switzerland within the framework of the Swiss-Ukrainian Programs “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” (QFTP) and “Organic Trade 4 Development in Eastern Europe” (OT4D).