Ukrainians revised their berry preferences that has forced manufacturers to change the structure of production. In particular, the strawberry began to grow less, and raspberry, on the contrary, more writes UBR.
So, agricultural enterprises of Ukraine for the past four years has reduced the share of strawberries in the total production of fruit from 72,3% to 53.3%. The share of raspberries over this period increased from 6.2% to 18.7%. But with the currant, all the old- 15.5% in total production.
“Trends associated with the increase in the selling season raspberries. Ukrainians want to buy a quality product good presentation,” says the project Manager of “UkrAgroConsult” Olga Brain.
But the main problem for producers of fruits and berries — low solvent demand on the domestic market and to compete with product grown in home gardens, the cost of which no one believes.
Production of berries in Ukraine is 125 – 130 thousand tons per year. Over the past five years, the volume increased by 5 – 9%, while the share of agricultural enterprises has reached 10% (the other 90% of the farming population).
The capacity of the domestic berry market experts estimate at about 120 thousand tons. While potentially it can grow four times. Because now the average Ukrainian, according to the Brain, consumes only 3.2 – 3.7 kg berries per year, which is much less than in Europe (12 – 16 kg/person per year).
But there are more Ukrainians can not — nothing to pay. Therefore, according to the Deputy Director of the Institute of horticulture NAAS of Ukraine Oleksandr Yaremenko, the production of most tradable in Ukraine is berries — strawberries — peaked (almost 62 thousand tons).
“Domestic production of strawberries slowed down. No attractive prices, and manufacturers are forced to seek new markets,” said Yaremenko.
Strawberries in Ukraine became too much
In addition, everbearing strawberry varieties (able repeatedly to bloom and bear fruit within one vegetation period) are not so popular, but because of its area do not grow. While consumer demand is shifting in the direction of raspberries, which longer on the market fresh.
“Fresh berries in Ukraine is implemented because not enough capacity for its storage. Therefore, breeders have increased the sales season, utilizing new varieties that allow you to gather several harvests per season,” explained Brain.
The main sales are through markets. About a quarter of the berries sold through organized markets, another 24% through wholesale, 20% through natural. Directly from the field leaving about 10% product and 14% is given for recycling. On a network of retail accounts for just 7% of sales.
Sales of fresh berries through retail chains is insignificant, because not everywhere there are conditions for storage. Through network selling mostly strawberries (79%).
Berries make fashionable
Not having the funds for the construction of processing facilities or warehouses, manufacturers looking for output in the development of niche high-yield crops. “For example, the blueberry has demonstrated phenomenal growth,” said Alexander Yaremenko.
Blueberries are still popular and gradually the plantations moved from the Northern and Central regions of the country to the southern regions.
“But this fruit is difficult to grow, but because of the high risks of losing investments in case of violation of technologies. The problem is exacerbated by the deficit of specialized professionals agronomists and the fact that in this business, investors have come from industries unrelated to agricultural production. Therefore, there is a fading interest,” explained Brain.
Blueberry has become the most fashionable berry
Experts believe that the cultivation of unique products, focus on children (as in the sales of dairy or confectionery products) can increase sales. For example, due to the “surprises” in the packages of the same toy.
Also in Ukraine is increasingly manifest in the contemporary global trends. First is proper nutrition. The consumer wants simple, fresh and organic products (as in natural form or as supplements). This trend is common throughout the food industry (milk, confectionaries, etc.).
Secondly, in the fashion of so-called “super snack”. Consumers expect particular nutritional value from snacks. It can be berry juice, assorted, berries Supplement in the finished products. Popular and combinations of flavors, e.g., fruit and vegetable sauce.
The same blueberries can serve as an example of the so-called “superfood”, which looking for consumers. This product is rich in antioxidants, slows aging, and also has healing properties, and just delicious. The second can be called Goja berries.
Neighbors for dessert
Our farmers are counting on the export of berries. But this is not all roses. “Ukrainian farmers are accustomed to, the main thing — to grow the product. And who to sell it think after. Abroad, the opposite is true: products are grown for a specific customer,” — said the head of the Association “Ukrsudprom” Dmitry Baby.
According to him, Ukraine has grown varieties of fruit suited to the tastes of inhabitants of the CIS countries and in Europe or Asia popular very different products.
Therefore, farmers need to identify promising crop, including niche, which in small amounts can produce significant income. Primarily by exports to the EU, where there is, for example, the shortage of organic fruits and berries. Plus there are consumers able to pay dearly for a quality product.
Overseas production is grown for a specific customer.
However, according to the first Vice-President of the CCI of Ukraine Mikhail Nepran, our farmers don’t want to mess with the production of export quality. “Last year we tried to organize such a project for the export of berries in the countries of Western Europe, but he did not. Including the fact that farmers have to work at a higher level,” said Wrong.
According to him, the current conditions of international trade require the creation of agrotechnological conveyor, which are used by many small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We need to unite in cooperatives for the formation of consignments. Work on the quality of the product, its current packaging. It is not easy to go and sell on the market. Then you need the psychology of the farmer to change,” — said Vice-President of the CCI of Ukraine.
In Europe there is a shortage of berries, but our producers are not short on quality.
In addition, as noted Dmitry Kroshka, Ukraine could sell its hybrids are plants that are even more profitable than selling the finished product. But you need to overcome the many regulatory barriers in certification and registration of new varieties in the neighbouring countries.
“Before, we were confident that everything sold in Ukraine, but now we know that we must look for new markets. No one will come on the field for the product, or to buy very limited amounts”, — says Director of “Brusvyana” Liliana Dmitriev.
Deputy Minister of agrarian policy and food of Ukraine on European integration Olga Trofimova promised that all the complaints of farmers with information about the presence of demand in the country for our products will be taken to the work. The state will also begin procedures for the mutual recognition of certificates of conformity. “This year on direct support for the garden and berry farms, and the budget is 75 million UAH, including on compensation for the planting of new gardens. In addition, there is compensation of credit rates”, — assured Trafimava.