In this interview with the trade magazine “Yahidnyk”, the Ukrainian representative of Fresh Forward Holding Anton Dovhanyuk describes the current situation in Ukraine, the ties between the Dutch and Ukrainian (soft) fruit sector and the possibilities for further cooperation.
What has changed in the relationship between Ukraine and the Dutch fruit and vegetable sector during the war in Ukraine?
A lot has changed in the fruit and soft fruit sector over the past few months, both countries are currently experiencing major losses. I have been working in the horticultural sector for a long time and I see, for example, the decrease in the sale of certified planting material from the Netherlands to Ukraine. A number of projects have now been shelved.
Due to military activities and the market about the future situation on the fewer plants and strawberry farms, fewer plants and Dutch varieties are now available. The high exchange rate and expensive logistics have a negative effect on the export of seedlings to Ukraine. It became more difficult to manage the breed propagation licenses, PVR enforcement, etc.
handy help Dutch companies their Ukrainian partners as much as they can. For example, SVZ International helps its Ukrainian partners with the export of frozen soft fruit, Dutch breeders do not charge royalties for the period of martial law, other companies employ Ukrainian refugees for seasonal work, etc.
The Dutch horticultural sector is known for its innovations. Despite the military actions affecting the global economy, are there currently any projects underway in Ukraine? If so, which are they?
Naturally, Dutch growers and processors continue to work on new products and explore new markets. Dutch breeder continues to export new varieties in Ukraine and carry out trials here. Due to the simple energy crisis and prices for crop protection and fertilizer, more attention is now being paid to resistant varieties that require fewer applications of synthetic agents.
A good example of this is the activities of the Solynta company. Despite the current difficulties in feeding their real potato seed into the Ukraine, they have had successful trials with two hybrid potato varieties in the Vinnytsia region. This form of seed potato cultivation can reduce delivery costs and improve phytosanitary control in the future.