S-Fruit Ukraine 2019

The recently created Ukrainian Berries Association has organised a conference for soft and stone fruit early April in Kiev. this first edition, S-Fruit Ukraine 2019, welcomed around 200 people from the Eastern European world of berries.

An invitation to S-FRUIT UKRAINE 2019 for the IBA

The newly established links between the UBA and the IBA have led to an invitation. The IBA General Manager Stefanie Sharma has spoken at S-Fruit Kiev about the blackcurrant production and consumption worldwide. This first 3-days conference dedicated to soft and stone fruits in Kiev focused on global trends for different kinds of fruits, on technological challenges in growing methods and transforming factories, as well as on markets and exports. A business tour furthermore allowed the conference participants to have an insight in freezing facilities and nurseries.

IBA General Manager Stefanie Sharma standing in a blackcurrant field

The Ukrainian Berry market

UBA Manager Iryna Kukhtina on the stage at S-fruit Ukraine 2019

Before the next IBA conference in Lviv in 2020, you may already want to know a little more about the Urkainian berry market.

In fact, the participation in the S-fruit conference firstly allowed to establish contacts with the Ukrainian Berries Association manager Iryna Kukhtina and her team. Secondly, it allowed us to learn a little more about the berry industry in Ukraine. Of course, a big part of the conference focused on the blooming blueberry industry – but not only.

Actually, the berry industry in Ukraine is booming and shows immense growth since 2014. It is one of the most attractive returns on investment in Ukrainian agriculture. Ukraine’s total production of berries in 2017 was over 140 thousand tonnes. Exports accounted for 25%, and went to 67 countries all over the world. The main share of the production is strawberries for 55 thousand tonnes, followed by rasperries (34 thousand tonnes) and currants (black and red), for a total of 27 thousand tonnes. The Ukrainian producers try to rapidly adapt to changing market trends.

Agriculture in Ukraine

The land structure in Ukraine is very different from what we have seen in other blackcurrant growing countries. Known as the “breadbasket” of the former USSR, Ukraine has huge spaces and is not densly occupied. The land is very fertile and has huge potential for growing any kind of crop. In fact, two thirds of the country’s soil consist of the so-called chernozem (black earth). This black couloured soil contains a high percentage of humus and thus makes Ukraine one of the most fertile regions on earth, provided there is enough rainfall.

Business Tour during S-Fruit Ukraine 2019

The conference included two visits in the Charkasy region. One led the participants to a nursery of cherries, the other to one of the biggest companies in Ukraine producing IQF vegetables and fruits. Here are some pictures:

Matsenko Aleksandr Vasilievich and his nursery and experimental garden

Visit of Smilyanska Hlodnya

A promising 2020 IBA conference

After learning more about the structure and facilities for blackcurrant growing and processing in Ukraine, we are sure that the next IBA conference in Lviv will be most interesting. We have already started to work with the UBA on its organisation. Together with Iryna Kukhtina, we are doing our best to enable a highly informative conference in the best conditions.