Visits, advice and contracts: Ukrainian berry farmers take part in international trade fair in Germany

The Ukrainian delegation at Fruit Logistica 2019

Seven Ukrainian berry producers took part in the international FRUIT LOGISTICA 2019 exhibition in Germany from 6-8 February, with the support of the International Trade Centre (ITC), in the framework of the 'Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade' project, funded by EU as part of the EU4Business initiative.

FRUIT LOGISTICA is one of the largest European fresh market exhibitions with 3,200 exhibitors from 90 countries and 78,000 visitors.

The exhibition was attended by seven Ukrainian enterprises engaged in the production of fresh blueberries and sweet cherries, as well as the Ukrainian Berry Association. Three intensive days of negotiations, meetings and consultations led to concrete results for each of the participants: from revising their own enterprise strategy, to negotiating the signing of contracts with buyers. 

Participation in the trade fair was organised in conjunction with a series of study tours. On February 6, a visit was organised by ITC together with the Ukrainian Berry Association, to visit enterprises in the exhibition specialising in IQF tunnel freezing, juice and pulp lines, fresh blueberry sorting, as well as other fresh and frozen berries. 

On February 7, the participants visited FRUCHTHOF BERLIN, a cooperative wholesale market of fresh produce, which covers the regions from Berlin to Saxony and has a trading area of 32 hectares since 1965. The visit provided an opportunity to learn about the organisation of operations and conditions for a selection of enterprises in the market, and to see the mix of quality berries and other fresh food. 

The tour continued by visiting two aquaponic cyclic process farms (ECF farmsystems, Stadtfarm) based on the principle of creating a sustainable ecosystem for both fish and plants through the saturation of water with fish by-products that feed plants, while the plants, in turn, serve as a natural filter for water purification. 

The participants also visited Karls Farm, a strawberry farm operating since 1921, 30km outside Berlin. The visit gave them an opportunity to become familiar with the process of growing berries (300 hectares) and their processing, which lasts all year round - a unique business model, under which strawberries can be consumed in any form and to any taste (jam, sauces, marmalade, bread, wine, liqueurs, beer, juices, caramel, cookies, etc.).

Three days of the FRUIT LOGISTICA 2019 exhibition, as well as participation in the study tours helped to support Ukrainian export-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises engaging in the berry sector, to increase awareness of market conditions and requirements in the EU, strengthen the companies' potential and promote the products of Ukrainian manufacturers to potential EU buyers.

The Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade project helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access new markets with a focus on the EU, helping SMEs identify and comply with quality and standards to meet international requirements, linking them with buyers along the value chain, and providing cluster support.