Ukrainian green path from farm to fork: a time of greatest opportunities

Ukrainian green path from farm to fork: a time of greatest opportunities
Just before the Christmas holidays start we presented results of the project that we have been working on during the past year within the framework of the EU4USociety project (support of the European Union and the International Renaissance Foundation).

In an effort to determine Ukraine’s path for agricultural sector’s green transformation we monitored and analyzed publications, legislative changes and strategic documents developed in the EU for implementation of the European Green Deal, researched experiences and collected interesting examples from around the world, adapted and explained this information to Ukrainians in numerous publications and thematic digests. We also participated in various international events, development of various analytical and positional papers and organized discussions in Ukrainian on the most resonant topics.

All of this work resulted into development of the road map “Ukrainian green path from farm to fork: step by step”, which included two parts – the options for shift to sustainable agricultural production and the required changes of the consumption patterns. We have offered our vision of incentives and means for the green agricultural transition and changes for the existing food systems in compliance with current global trends.

The developed roadmap consists of specific steps that we view as both –  necessary and realistic. The path is presented as visualized infographic and described in detail in the final publication.

As for the need for the specified steps – technically right now everyone understands that under current global climate and political conditions there is nowhere else to go. As for the readiness to endeavor the transformation of agricultural production methods – the agricultural experts agree that most of our farmers are not ready for it.

However, there is a small minority that has already started this transformation. For example, “Arnica” – a group of Ukrainian agricultural companies, that already employs sustainable practices producing organic products (the company is certified according to organic production standards equivalent to EU, US, Canada, Switzerland and Japan), with no use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, currently exploring potential of carbon farming and plans to certify carbon credits for the accumulated carbon in the soil.

Anastasia Bilych, the head of the marketing department of the “Arnica” group, said at the presentation of the Roadmap, that today all farmers can be divided into three groups.

Pioneers who are trying to change the way they manage and are determent to take advantage of current opportunities; their followers, who will soon follow the same path, wisely using the experience of the former; and those that will be “unpleasantly motivated by regulators” through changes and new requirements in the legislation and taxation, new import requirement worldwide, new EU’s regulations, and so on.

This correlates very well with the conclusions of our project. What is especially valuable that is a vision of an agricultural company already on its way towards green transformation, one of the “green transition” pioneers in Ukraine. And in order to ensure as many followers as possible for these pioneers, we all need to take action to facilitate the awareness rising and to minimize the numbers of the “unpleasantly motivated”.

The needs to inform farmers on the green transformation opportunities and benefits, to review public policy in order to promote good practices were discussed in our publication and during the presentation of the Roadmap.

Our colleagues and partners are well aware of the importance of continuing on this course of actions. The Analytical Center of the Agrarian Union of Ukraine, for example, promotes practices of conscious producers using modern information technology. The new project WWF-Ukraine “Implementation of nature-oriented solutions in the Reform Agenda in Ukraine” is going use our findings. And our colleagues from the European Environment Bureau (Belgium) were happy to share their experiences, including warning against mistakes that farmers from EU countries have already learned from.

We thank all the participants of the project and the final presentation event!

Road map “Ukrainian green path from the farm to the fork: step by step” available in Ukrainian.

Video record of the presentation in English can be found at the link.

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