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Ukrainian potato producers encountered difficulties entering EU market

Christian Fernsby |
During a recent press conference Oksana Ruzhenkova, director of the Association of Potato Producers of Ukraine, recounted how for a very long time Ukrainian potato producers could not export their products.

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This negatively affected the industry. She recalled that 2018 was a very dry year for the EU, and therefore the potato yield was lower. In fact, it was a good chance for Ukraine to enter the European market.

According to her, potato producers appealed to the State Consumer Service of Ukraine with a request to write a letter to the European Commission with a request to allow the export of tubers to the EU to break the 20-year blockade. By the way, a similar letter to the EC was sent from Belarus.

“However, the answer to both countries was the same - first harmonize national legislation with European one, and only then will we allow it to be done. Belarus reacted rather harshly, closing its market for European potatoes. And from September 1, 2019, European seed potatoes ceased to be imported into the country, and a program for the development of their own selection is working in Belarus. We were left alone with our problems,” said Ruzhenkova.

According to her, in June 2019, completely unexpectedly, a letter from the State Consumer Service arrived, which announced the proposal of the European Commission to make a pilot and enter the EU market.

“We were sent a list of quarantine organisms for which enterprises should be checked. We assembled a test group of seven farms that were tested on 1 thousand hectares of industrial plantings. Today we have two farms that are ready to export to the EU, the rest are in the process, ”the expert said, adding that other producers are also pulling up and preparing to enter the European market.

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