Ukrainian companies continue to increase their presence in the global berry market
During one of the Global Berry Congresses, which took place on November 28, 2023 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, much attention was paid to Ukraine's progress in the berry business. Despite Russia's ongoing military aggression, Ukrainian companies continued to increase their presence in the global berry market.
Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investment Center of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in his presentation: “Morocco, Egypt and Ukraine: disruptors of the global berry market,” pointed out that, based on the Results of the previous five seasons, Ukraine has become the fastest growing berry exporter among the top 20 berry exporters in the world.
“Ukraine's berry exports in 2018-2022 grew by an average of 25% each year, mainly due to an increase in export shipments of frozen raspberries. However, recently blueberries have begun to contribute significantly to this process, allowing Ukraine to annually rise in the ranking of the largest berry exporters in the world,” says Andriy Yarmak.
At the same time, in his speech he highlighted the enormous problems that Ukraine is experiencing in the development of the berry business. According to the FAO expert, Ukraine leaves around 100 million dollars of added value to Poland, allowing it to maintain a leading position in the export of fresh and frozen berries. Polish companies sort and repackage Ukrainian berries and re-export them to countries around the world, but mainly within the EU. At the same time, Ukraine continues to sell raspberries at the lowest price of all countries in the world, while with certain marketing efforts and small investments in technology, considering Ukraine's perfect and unique agro-climatic growing conditions, it could sell berries at a superior.
“The Ukrainian berry business could use this additional $100 million right now. This would allow Ukraine to reduce its dependence on a major buyer, with which serious problems have recently arisen. By the way, Ukraine already has a similar experience: relatively recently, Ukraine managed to get rid of dependence on the Russian market, which allowed it to significantly increase exports of fruits and vegetables. “The additional funds that would come from diversifying exports to Poland would also help to significantly increase the volume and quality of berries, helping Ukraine move up the rankings of global exporters and improving its reputation in the world of berries,” noted Andriy Yarmak.
He also mentioned that next season Ukraine will have a large carte blanche in the frozen raspberry market, because many countries have reduced the area dedicated to this crop, while world prices remain extremely low. Consequently, interest in raspberries may increase again among global buyers in the 2024/25 season, which will help increase income from raspberry exports. It would be good to combine this opportunity with efforts to diversify exports of both raspberries and blueberries.
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