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National dialogue fortifies Ukraine’s milk industry

Despite political and economic turbulence and global milk prices dropping to an all-time low, Ukraine’s commercial dairy industry has made impressive strides in recent years, producing higher-quality milk and tapping into new markets abroad.

Thanks to an active Ukrainian Dairy Sector Working Group, created in 2013 by the country’s dairy industry associations with support from the Government, FAO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the momentum is likely to continue.

The Working Group was set up to spark greater dialogue between the country’s public and private sectors on important dairy issues, and usher in more transparent policy-making. Meetings bring together leading milk producers and processors, dairy industry associations, scientists and government representatives, and have become so popular they now draw upwards of 50 people, said FAO economist Andriy Yarmak.

“In a way, this is now something like a ‘Dairy Club of Ukraine’ where all the key news, legislative initiatives and market trends are discussed,” he said. “Dairy businesses have discovered that they need to work together to achieve progress in all areas, including marketing and export promotion.”

With FAO and EBRD support, the Working Group has been pushing ahead in its efforts to make Ukraine’s commercial dairy industry more modern, productive and sustainable. It has been instrumental in introducing changes to government legislation, including new quality and safety standards, and developing the investment case for industrialization.

“It is this spirit of working together – of giving all players a say in important policy decisions – that continues to transform Ukraine’s dairy sector into a more inclusive, efficient and productive one,” Yarmak said.

FAO/EBRD efforts in Ukraine are contributing to FAO’s strategic objective to enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems.

10 November 2016, Kiev, Ukraine

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