Ukraine recently hosted the first training workshop on certification according to the international standard Global G.A.P. The training was organised for Ukrainian berry producers by the International Trade Centre, together with the Ukrainian Berries Association as part of the ‘Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade’ project, funded by EU as part of the EU4Business initiative.
The two-day workshop was held in June for representatives of 16 companies producing fresh berries that have already become exporters, or are planning to enter the European Union markets. The event was attended by companies from Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Lviv, Rivne and Ternopil Oblasts. Given that having a Global G.A.P. certificate is one of obligatory conditions for cooperation with European trade networks, it was important for Ukrainian producers to get complete information about the standard, its requirements and features.
The first day of the training was held in Kyiv and was dedicated to the theoretical part of certification. The speaker at the training, a Global G.A.P certification consultant, Nina Dmytrash, informed the participants of the certification conditions and stages. This information triggered a lively discussion and a lot of questions from the participants, as most of them were impressed by the number of control points, by which the certification authority checks companies. The standard has as many as 281 of those points.
The second day of training took place on the berry farm of Ukrainska Yahoda LLC in Zhytomyr Oblast. In 2017, the company successfully passed the certification process. The trainees had a chance to see the implemented standards in action, pass through the enterprise's control points and see that bringing a company to the Global G.A.P. standard in practice was not as complicated as it might seem. Taras Bashtannyk, Director of Ukrainska Yahoda, emphasised that the standard's requirements were quite logical - they were, first of all, aimed at structuring and organising the company's activities. Though their implementation required some effort, it was not associated with any particular difficulties.
Availability of a Global G.A.P. certificate is a guarantee of compliance with consumer requirements regarding the quality and safety of farm products, so certified suppliers are in demand in EU markets.
The ‘Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade’ project started its activity in Ukraine in September 2017. The berry sector has been identified as the main focus of support for improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises and facilitating their entry into the EU markets.
The Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade project helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access new markets with a focus on the EU, helping SMEs identify and comply with quality and standards to meet international requirements, linking them with buyers along the value chain, and providing cluster support.