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Potential for Ukrainian garlic market to reach top 5More and more producers in Ukraine are showing interest in garlic production. Although it still has a long way to go before it becomes one of the world's top garlic producers, it could very easily become one of the top 5 in the EU.
There have been a lot technological advances in the last few years, thanks to the help of the Ukrainian government, along with local investors, which has increased production and opened new markets.
"I think that the quality of our garlic is very interesting for processing companies and for end buyers. Ukrainian garlic has a high phytoncide content, giving it a spicy and pleasant aroma, along with a complex of micro elements." said Independent Ag Consultant, Maxim Kulik.
More than 200,000 tonnes were produced this season.
Ukrainian producers are showing more interest in switching over to modern varieties, especially since it is more difficult to sell the traditional varieties like Lubasha, Guliver, Spas and Prometey (to name a few), since they are virtually unknown in the markets outside of the region.
"I think that recent exhibitions, like Fruit Logistica in Berlin, proved that we have the capability of replacing cheap Chinese garlic and can pose a threat to the more expensive Spanish garlic. More and more growers are interested in garlic and small growers are forming associations througout the country looking for new export markets." said Maxim.
Local production accounts for 90% of domestic demand and foreign garlic from China is imported when there is a gap in supply, from February to May.
Historically, Belarus imported one third of the country's export volume, with the remaining 65-70% being sent out to surrounding Baltic countries. The last two years has seen a dramatic change, after trial loadings were sent to the Netherlands, Canada and few other EU countries.
Low domestic prices this year, around €1 per kg for fresh garlic, had growers on the look out for new export markets. Maxim said that a lot of exporters were interested, but that producers need to keep improving their quality, sorting and packing.
"Only the continued hard work from producers, exporters and associations can give the Ukrainian garlic industry results in the near future."
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