On 2 December 2020, the first meeting of the Project Steering Group (PSG) in the second phase of the COA project took place via video conference.

On the German side, Johanna Scholz from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany (BMEL) and Frank Müller, Agricultural Counsellor of the German Embassy in Kyiv, participated. The Ukrainian project partners were represented by Lyudmyla Khomichak and Valentyna Zayets from the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture (MDETA) and Vladislava Magaletska and Olga Semenchuk for the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection (FSA). Mrs. Tetyana Ishchenko participated on behalf of the Scientific and Methodological Centre for Higher and Vocational Education (NMZ). The group was completed by representatives of GFA, AFC, IAK and the COA project team.

Mrs. Khomichak from MEDTA emphasised in her welcome address the COA project's active help in the field of organic legislation and its harmonisation with the EU. The legislative process is not yet completed, but the last three implementing regulations are already under development.

Ms Magaletska from the FSA pointed out the importance of the COA project and the bilateral relations between Ukraine and Germany and mentioned: "The German-Ukrainian cooperation organic agriculture continues to develop very actively. This project will also help us in the field of consumer protection and we will actively work to further deepen bilateral cooperation".

Ms. Ishchenko of NMZ acknowledged the contribution made by the COA team in Phase I and expects that funds will continue to be available for the further development of the platform. She referred in this context to students as an important target group: "Many people have come into contact with organic farming through internships in Germany, have been inspired by this way of doing business and are now motivated to implement what they have experienced in Ukraine.“

COA team leader Ms. Rüegg presented the results of the previous activities in phase II of the COA project, which started on 1 September 2020. With 22 activities started out of a total of 30, the project has reached its planning target and is well on its way.

Afterwards, the international short-term expert Mrs. Evren presented the new Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) concept, which will make the success of the project work more measurable and transparent in the future.

The PSG decided to accept the previous project planning overview for Phase II with minor changes. Thus the project can be continued as planned.

In addition to a brief outlook for 2021, it was also announced that Dr. Stefan Dreesmann will take over the COA team leader position from Ms. Rüegg as of April 1, 2021. Mr Dreesmann is already known to the Ukrainian side through several short-term assignments and both sides look forward to continuing this cooperation.

Source: COA

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