Agroecology, an agricultural company based in Poltava region, is one of the largest organic producers in Ukraine. Agroecology is a vivid example of how millions can be earned on organic production and environmental protection. Moreover, not somewhere abroad but in our country, in the Ukrainian countryside!
The company represents a complete cycle of agricultural production: from the cultivation of grain crops and oilseeds to the sales of dairy and meat products.
The company’s food products can be enjoyed both in Ukraine and abroad. Agroecology is actively developing its exports via fruitful cooperation with Canadian companies, among others.
Quality mark for decades
The company has more than 40 years of experience in the organic sector. Hardly any other Ukrainian company could boast of this.
Everything began in 1975 when Semen Antonets, a Ukrainian agrarian, innovator and scholar, became chairman of the Ordzhonikidze Collective Farm. At the farm, Mr. Antonets traced the connection between intensive use of plant protection products, poor health of people and harmful environmental impacts. Observing those negative trends, the manager initiated an experiment to refuse from the use of agrochemicals. As a result, the Ordzhonikidze Collective Farm completely switched to organic production in 1988. That was in the times when this sector of agrarian activity, as well as the organic market itself, were only emerging in Europe.
After Ukraine gained independence, the Ordzhonikidze Collective Farm was reorganized into a closed joint-stock company and then into a private enterprise in 2000. The change of the ownership form caused qualitative changes. Semen’s business was continued by his daughter, and later – by his grandson, Hlib Lukyanenko, who now heads the company. The “ideologist and founder” himself today is a consultant and strategic manager of the organic farming enterprise.
Access to international markets
For more than 15 years, Agroecology’s products have been presented in foreign markets. Exports include raw materials – about 80% of the harvested grain is shipped abroad. These are mainly cereals.
The geography of exports is very wide and is constantly expanding. This includes Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, etc.
Since 2015, the company has been selling grain to the Canadian market through the trader company – Field Farms Marketing Ltd.
In 2019, the CUTIS project co-funded the certification according to the Canadian organic standard COR.
You can find out more about this experience and the conclusions on how to work in the Canadian organic market in the video.
More than profit
Organic production technology positively affects not only the condition of the environment and business indicators but also the enterprise’s relationships with its own employees. There are no problems with vacancies – there are always a lot of people willing to work for the company. Refusal from agrochemicals in the technological process makes the work conditions safer compared to traditional enterprises.
In addition, Agroecology promotes the development of rural areas. The company annually holds the Field Days in late June where it publicly demonstrates its achievements in practice. Based on the company’s training center, training is continuously conducted both for Ukrainian and foreign farmers. In particular, the company’s research center was visited by representatives of Bulgaria and Japan in the fall of 2018.
As part of cooperation with the Poltava State Agrarian Academy (PSAA), students get practical training in such areas as zootechnics, veterinary and agronomy. The company has even built its own hostels for the youth.
The company is not going to rest on its laurels. “There are plans to visit Canada, to arrange meetings with processors, large flour mills and large bakeries. We hope to find a common language with them and deliver processed products to Canada directly”, – concludes Pavlo Zakharchenko, the company’s commercial director.