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Organic Round Table joined ministerial and retail stakeholders for improving the mechanisms for labelling and trade of organic products on July 19, 2019 in Kyiv.

Almost one year after the official adaption of the Ukrainian organic law, AFC’s project Cooperation in Organic Agriculture (COA) successfully set up a round table for state authorities and representatives from retail and the organic network. 

The new organic law will come into force in August 2019, one year after the approval of the law. Thus, the aim of the event was to support the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine (MAPFE) and its implementing agency State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection (Food Safety Authority - FSA) in presenting the current state of the Organic Law as well as its bylaws and the relevance for the retail sector. Main topics were labelling and trade of organic products on the one hand, and control and certification on the other hand.

The law “On Main Principles and Requirements for Organic Production, Circulation and Labelling of Organic Products” (the Organic Law) defines the basic principles and requirements for organic production, trade and labelling of organic products. The document aims to harmonize the Ukrainian legislation with the norms of the EUand improve the trust in Ukrainian organic products in the domestic and foreign markets by introducing more effective regulation for the production and trade in organic products. Based on this Organic Law, Ukraine will introduce accountability for violation of legislation in the sphere of organic production and circulation of organic products, in particular, in relation to the labelling of organic products. This concerns both the labelling of organic products with the national logotype as well as the use of indications and notations related to “organic”, “bio-“, etc.

Currently, the export of organic food products from Ukraine is three times higher than the domestic consumption (99 million EUR versus 29,4 million EUR). Olena Kovalyova, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, emphasized, that the common challenge for the sector is to provide consumers with qualitative and extensive information about organic products and so build and strengthen local consumers’ trust in certified organic products from Ukraine. Additionally, the Round Table participants explained and discussed the necessary steps for establishing mechanisms of correct labelling of organic products as well as measures supporting the development of a control system over the circulation of such products.

“The Organic Law serves the reliable professional production of organic foods. It is significant for transparent processes to ensure the quality of Ukraine’s organic sector”, stated COA team leader Elisabeth Rüegg. For Volodymyr Lapa, head of FSA, the comprehensive information on the Organic Law and its bylaws is of great importance for their correct implementation by the different market participants. The event was co-organised by the EU project “Support to Agriculture and Food Policy Implementation in Ukraine“. In addition to representatives from MAPF, FSA and COA, the national certification body Organic Standards, the sector network Green Dossier, national organic sector associations and a related EU project attended the event. 

In conclusion, the participants agreed on further steps for a successful implementation of the Organic Law and related by-laws starting in August 2019. Further information on the Organic Round Table on MAPF’s website.

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