Ukrainian berry producing companies increase exports with the help of the International Trade Centre (ITC) Ready to Trade project.
‘Since we joined Ready to Trade out client base grew significantly. We used to export only to the neighbor countries like Poland and Moldova, now we sell our berries to Hong Kong and UAE’, shares Karina Stanchevska, CFO of the Melitopol Cherry Group.
With 600 hectares of fruit gardens Melitopol Cherry Group is becoming a serious player in fresh fruit production of Ukraine. The company grows and processes sweet cherries, strawberries, apples, blackberries, peaches, apricots, pears, grapes, as well as grain and industrial crops.
‘We attended several workshops organized by ITC since becoming part of the project in 2018.’, says Karina. ‘Learning about marketing strategies as well as participating in Berlin Fruit Logistica 2019 helped us become more competitive and find new buyers.’
In recent years, Ukraine has realized the potential of berry sector, which is growing very quickly globally due to increased consumer demand. The export of Ukrainian berries rose almost fivefold from 4,5 tones to 23,5 tones since 2015. Ukraine exports its berries to the European Union, Belarus, Moldova, the Netherlands and Poland among other countries.
‘We see many opportunities for our berries in foreign markets. Especially, there is a lot of demand for organic berries. To meet international export standards, we are planning to purchase new sorting line for the sweet cherry, our top selling product’, says Karina about her plans for the future.
ITC Ready to Trade project, funded by the European Union EU4Business initiative, works with small and medium-sized berry and fruit producers, like Melitopol Cherry Group, to help them improve competitiveness and find new clients by creating more value-added goods that comply with international standards. Within the framework of the project, ITC organizes tailored trainings, study-tours and participation in the exhibitions and B2B meetings for the companies.