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Ukrainian winemaking needs state support to advance on international markets – expert

KYIV. March 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian winemaking needs state support to restore the industry affected by the war and advance on international markets, said Volodymyr Pechko, the head of the Ukrsadvinprom public union.

“Ukrainian winemaking was on the verge of survival because of the war. A significant number of territories of Ukrainian vineyards located in the south of Ukraine were mined by the aggressor, their restoration will require significant resources and time. We propose to develop a strategy for the development of the wine industry and recognize viticulture as a priority development sector,” he expressed such an opinion to the Interfax-Ukraine agency.

Pechko noted that at present winemaking, which suffered from the actions of the aggressor, is not included in any of the state support programs. The industry does not have an approved development strategy and certain mechanisms for compensating for losses incurred.

At the same time, the head of Ukrsadvinprom pointed out that Ukrainian winemaking has a fairly high export potential. Its products are in demand on international markets, including thanks to the unprecedented support of Ukraine in the confrontation with the aggressor.

“We saw that the interest in Ukrainian wine is very high. Today we are widely known and need to win our “place on the shelf.” People want to see and buy Ukrainian wine in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In order for a breakthrough in international markets to be effective, the participation of the state in the promotion of Ukrainian wine is necessary,” Pechko emphasized.

The head of Ukrsadvinprom recalled that Ukraine has restored its membership in the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), which it had been part of from 1997 to 2008, which opens up new prospects for Ukrainian winemakers.

The OIV was established in 2001. The organization became the successor of the International Bureau of Vine and Wine, which existed since 1924. Its goals are to protect the interests of the wine industry and create favorable market conditions, harmonize and match analysis methods, combat fraud and unfair competition in the market. Ukraine became the 49th member state of the OIV.

Currently, Ukrainian scientists are actively working in the committees of the OIV, including representatives of the scientific center Tairov Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

As of February 1, 2022, the total area of vine plantations in Ukraine for all categories of farms amounted to 34,000 hectares, the gross grape harvest – 257,500 tonnes. However, due to Russian aggression, almost 25% of the vineyard area are temporarily occupied or located in the war zone.

In total, there are 144 wineries in Ukraine, including 29 small producers of wine products.