First of all, this is due to the popularity of healthy food and the trend for popular products. The largest import markets are the EU, USA, China, and Arab countries.
Berries are actively used in the food industry and pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. As for the global berry market, there are no limits for growth yet. All experts agree that the market will actively grow, and the requirements for product quality will constantly increase.
The berry market in Ukraine is developing rapidly from year to year. According to Pro Consulting (Ukrainian market research leader), the capacity of the berry market in Ukraine in 2020 was estimated at around 200 million tons, or about $400 million. The annual growth of the harvest of fruit and berry crops in Ukraine reaches 10-30%.
Investors and businessmen are actively investing money and opening new farms.
Also, berry production in Ukraine is attractive due to the high margins of berries, growing demand in the domestic and world markets, and climatic conditions suitable for growing berries in Ukraine.
In addition, about 20 tons of berries can be harvested from a hectare of land in greenhouses per season. At the same time, the supplier can designate the cost of the crop himself, and it is very high in the off-season.
In 2020, Poland remained a key sales market for frozen berries from Ukraine and increased the volume of imports of these products by 20%, up to 17.8 thousand tons
From European countries, a significant increase also occurred in the supply of frozen berries to Germany (+ 84% to 4.2 thousand tons), the Netherlands (+ 46%, up to 1.7 thousand tons) and Belgium (+ 63%, up to 1.1 thousand tons)
China remained the primary market for Ukrainian products outside the European Union, increasing its purchases of frozen berries from Ukraine. So, in 2018, China purchased 490 tons of frozen berries from Ukraine, and in 2019 and 2020 — 1.3 thousand tons and 1.4 thousand tons, respectively
Ukrainian berries are in demand from other countries, and if all standards are observed, more and more farmers will be able to enter new sales markets. Over the past five years, the export of fresh berries to the European market from developing countries has doubled and continues to grow.
Berry exports to the EU are especially strong in the off-season. The low availability of fresh berries on the European market during the winter season (November – March) offers more opportunities for the berry business. Regarding stability and predictability, the EU market is more export-friendly than the supply of berries to other countries, where pricing can change very often.
For the export of berries to the EU, an essential requirement is the absence of pests and pesticides.
It is more profitable to sell a frozen product abroad than fresh berries in an elite Ukrainian store of organic products because the volumes are incomparable. For example, in Ukraine, fresh strawberries can be sold at $4/kg, but only to sell some quintal will be possible. And abroad, it is possible to send a hundred tons of frozen berries, although at $1.5/kg.
Europeans are ready to consume fresh Ukrainian berries too, but it is challenging to deliver them to the consumer the next day after the harvest due to the realities of the current logistics.
It is more convenient and profitable to export frozen berries. The sale of frozen berries to other countries brought Ukraine $9.4 million — three times more than fresh ones.
The frozen berry does not lose its presentation during transportation.
The most attractive markets for fresh berries are the European Union. The advantage of the Ukrainian manufacturer is the short distance and the possibility of fast delivery to Europe.
Ukraine has a highly favorable transport and geographical position.
The country is located at the crossroads of Central and Eastern Europe, being located simultaneously in both regions. It has many direct neighbors, wide access to the seas, a significant length of borders. Ukraine has long borders with Russia, Moldova, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.
According to the free trade agreement with the EU, all berries produced in Ukraine enjoy a preferential regime (abolition of import customs duties), and there are no import quotas for them.
For a buyer in the European Union to be able to use this mode, it is necessary to grow a berry in Ukraine and obtain a special EURO-1 certificate. An invoice declaration can be drawn up if the delivery value is less than €6.000.