Ukraine may play a prominent role in the EU soybean market — Krön

In the framework of the Donau Soja Association meeting, Matthias Krön, Chairman and General Manager, noted that the vegetable protein supply to Europe is one of the key issues for the region, reports.

“Of course, when it comes to vegetable protein, not only soy is meant, although soy is one of the major sources of vegetable protein. What does this mean for Ukraine — a country that produces more than 2/3 of the European volume of soybean? This means that under certain conditions Ukraine can take a significant place on the European market with its products,” Matthias Krön noted.

He announced that upon meeting certain conditions for soybean supply, the Ukrainian producer will be able to freely enter the EU market. These conditions are spelled out in the declaration which was signed by governments of 14 states in summer 2017.

“This is an important document for Ukraine since it contains valuable provisions on the supply of soybeans, the supply of protein from third countries, and the calculation of their value added by the European Union. So, Ukraine will be recognized as one of the countries that supplies such a strategic product to the European Union. But we are talking about soy supplies and non-GM protein. Such a policy is developed in the countries of Eastern Europe, in Ukraine’s neighbours such as Poland and Hungary. The latter are gradually moving towards the supply and use of only non-GM soybeans,” the President of the Association said.

Also, Matthias Krön said that soybean production following the established criteria is essential. It is crucial, he noted, that the standards of the Donau Soja and European Soya associations are recognized by all European associations as a standard for sustainable soybean production. Therefore, having passed the certification, Ukrainian manufacturers can join the European market.

“It should be considered that such an agronomic operation as desiccation is prohibited under the standards. It is clear that some efforts are to be made by the producer to grow the appropriate product. The producer will get much more benefit if the requirements of the European standard are met. Ukraine, as a country with a long tradition of producing high-quality agricultural, processed and food products, can play a prominent role in the EU market,” Matthias Krön noted.

According to Matthias Krön, within the first year of the Association’s operation in Ukraine, about 5% of the soybean areas were certified according to the specified standards. This is a good start, he said.

Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy Viktor Sheremeta assured that Ukrainian producers can integrate into European markets not only as suppliers of products but also as buyers of high-quality seeds.

“Agrarians are now interested in the seeds of both Ukrainian and foreign breeding. This is a sign for foreign investors to enter the Ukrainian soybean market,” he said.

As previously reported, in September-December of the 2018/19 season, Ukraine exported a record volume of soybean meal — 163.5 thou. tons, which is almost 60% higher than the previous year's volume. The EU countries were supplied 56% of the total shipments.

The new infographic guide Agribusiness of Ukraine 2017/18 is available by the link.

Soybean production in Ukraine (click for full resolution)

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