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Speaking at the international conference on food safety "Reforming the Food Safety System in Ukraine: a Model for the Future," Ivan Bisyuk, First Deputy Ministers of Agrarian Policy and Food, said Ukraine has already harmonized over 250 standards of food safety with the European legislation, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers informs.
Agrarian policy experts say Ukraine has huge potential for development of its agricultural sector. However, exporting finished products is unlike exporting raw materials. Finshed products exports give manufacturers along the entire process chain significantly larger profits, attract foreign currency into the country and increase state budget revenues.
Agricultural experts say ensuring the quality of Ukrainian food is of international standards will allow Ukraine to protect the interests of its citizens. It will also give the opportunity to actively promote domestic food products on foreign markets.
Analysts say Ukrainian food producers will face increasing competition on the domestic marketafter the signing of the EU Association Agreement. At the same time, however, they will gain access to a huge financially sound EU market. The domestic food producers who can ensure high quality of their products will benefit.
Experts positively review the growth of the share of Ukrainian foods sold on the domestic market. Given the relatively high competition from producers of other countries, it indicates that Ukrainian products have improved in quality. Consumers buying Ukrainian foods vote with their wallet.
Exports of processed food products are growing just as well. For the period January-August 2013, exports increased by 7.9% year-on-year. And in 2012, exports were up 67%, over 1.4 billion USD from 2009.
Such success of domestic finished food products is the benchmark for other businesses, an indicator of progress that can be made, if the quality of products is improved, analysts stress.
The struggle for new food markets will be tough. Experts say the government should ensure a maximum support to a food production monitoring system, which should follow any point in the process of production, storage and sales (НACCP). It is necessary to harmonize 62 standards and 5 agricultural regulations with European standards annually in the next three years.