“Ukraine will be a major player in the organic market”

With the abundance of apples currently available in Europe, just cultivating a large amount of apples isn’t going to work for anyone. Prices are very low and growers need to find a way to add some value to their produce, if they’re going to profit from the season. Ukrainian company Vinaigrette finds that they need to focus on quality, most of all.

It’s been a very rough season for Ukrainian apple growers, according to Maxim Kulik, Agro Consultant for Vinaigrette. Thanks to the weather conditions, the volumes are bigger than ever, making it hard to compete with just regular apples. “Even with the situation as it is, we still have to fulfill contracts. We’re supplying the United Kingdom for the third year now, and they actually take about 80% of our produce. Even though Poland has cheaper apples, we’re ahead of them in terms of quality. Also we use less pesticides on our produce, which our clients have easily measured. And because of that, they’re willing to pay more for Ukrainian apples.”

Focusing on the quality of the apples adds value to the product already, but Vinigrette is doing more than just that, Kulik claims: “We’ve been growing organic apples for quite some time and it’s really given us an edge. We’ve received all the certificates required and over time I’m pretty sure Ukraine will be a major player in the organic market. We have a lot of potential, thanks to our fertile soils, and other countries are starting to take notice. We’re currently cultivating apples on about a thousand ha, I expect that number to be 5,000 to 10,000 in a few years.”

Currently there is a big issue surrounding workers in Ukraine though, as smaller and medium sized farms have no way of picking all their apples: “Our workforce is going abroad to get better pay for their work. Most of the small and medium growers can not afford the wages that other countries are paying. Our company specifically doesn’t have this problem, as we can sell our apples for higher prices and have more money for paying worker salaries. But it’s a problem that needs to be looked at. When apples are being sold for 3 to 4 Eurocents per kilo, and the costs of exporting them are 11 to 12 cents per kilo, it becomes a problem and food goes to waste.”

Vinaigrette will be attending Fruit Logistica in Berlin, but it won’t be to show their apples: “We have developed an app some time ago that monitors the prices on the European market. We’ve updated this app quite a bit since the release, and this is what we’d like to share with the visitors in Berlin.”

For more information:
Maxim Kulik
Vinaigrette LLC
Tel: +38 0999 100 251
Email: sales@trebyan.com 


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