From 3 to 13 July 2018, the first part of the 5th German-Ukrainian Food Forum took place in Hamburg and Lübeck with the participation of a Ukrainian delegation (including representatives of the fruit and vegetable wholesale market "Shuvar").

During the event representatives of the Ukrainian delegation had the opportunity to visit the fruit and vegetable wholesale market of Hamburg, which offers both exporters and importers of fruit trade a platform for developing business relations. The main business hours of the market is between 00.00 to 07.00. During this period, fresh fruit and vegetables will be sold to various distribution channels within Northern Germany, including retailers and HoReCa customers. For the representatives of "Shuvar" it was of particular interest to obtain information about the operations and organization of the wholesale market in Hamburg and to exchange information with the Hamburg site about "Info-Shuvar", an online-based database for price analysis.

The event also included B2B discussions aimed at intensifying the potential for cooperation in the fruit and vegetables trade and between the wholesale markets of the two countries.

Mrs. Tatiana Hetman (representative of the fruit and vegetable wholesale market "Shuvar") emphasized in her presentation above all the following trends of the German-Ukrainian fruit trade:
- Manufacturers put more emphasis on increasing harvests and improving qualities than on expanding land;
- Investment in infrastructure is still at a low level due to high lending rates
- The opening up of the EU market under the Free Trade Agreement gives Ukrainian producers the opportunity to focus on the traceability and reliability of the supply chain.

Ms. Hetman also stressed that it is very important that some fruit and vegetable producers incorporate new management approaches into the management. This would be particularly true for the main customers of tomato paste, apple juice concentrate, watermelon, frozen berries, blueberries (fresh and frozen), pumpkins and peeled onions from Ukraine, mainly EU countries. Among the vegetables most widely imported from Ukraine into the EU market are: greenhouse tomatoes (about 3 thousand tons in the 2017/2018 season), cucumbers (about 3-4 thousand tons), onions (2-3 thousand tons) and pumpkin.

The highest proportion of fruit and berries exported from Ukraine to the EU belongs to the following product groups: apples (about 15 thousand tons in 2017), watermelons, cherries, plums, strawberries and raspberries.

In 2017, Ukraine positioned itself in the EU markets as follows:
1) main supplier of frozen raspberries to Poland;
2) main supplier of frozen blueberries to Poland;
3) one of the largest suppliers of cherries, plums and frozen strawberries to Poland;
4) main supplier of apple juice concentrate to Germany;
5) one of the largest suppliers of tomato paste for the German market;

Importantly, the berry product group has a very high export potential, and the EU market has become an important trading partner of Ukraine within the framework of the free trade area. According to the results of 2017, almost all berry production has been exported to the EU. Only 3-5% was exported to other countries.
According to Mrs. Hetman, the following developments of the Ukrainian fruit and vegetable market are expected:
- Reinforcement of competition among domestic producers in the internal market
- A negative price trend for berries (raspberries, blueberries), which will stimulate consumption in the internal market.
Ukraine has advantages that give the country the opportunity to become a reliable and stable source of fruit and vegetable production for EU countries in the long term:
- good weather conditions
- a good opportunity to produce niche and organic products on an industrial scale
- A lower rental price for cultivation areas compared to other countries. This gives domestic production a competitive advantage.
- a favorable geographical and infrastructural position to the main trading partners and world markets.


The experts estimate that the following development trends are emerging:
- Reinforcing competition in the domestic market among domestic commodity producers, even with low imports
- a negative price trend for "soft berries" (raspberries, currants and blueberries), which will stimulate consumption in the internal market;
- Development of the segment of frozen berries (export and import increase);
- cooperation of manufacturers (as an important tool for improving the effectiveness of operational trade and macroeconomic and external activity);
- Increased demand for raw materials, competition between Ukrainian and European manufacturing companies;
- expansion of export markets in Asian and EU countries (fresh and frozen goods);
The exchange of information with German colleagues about the trends and prospects of the Ukrainian fruit and vegetable wholesale trade with representatives of one of the largest "fruit & vegetable markets" of Western Ukraine (Shuvar) provided a good basis for further cooperation, both between the wholesale markets and directly between the representatives of the individual companies.


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