The Ukraine government urgently needs to act to support the domestic dairy industry and prevent a slump in production performance, Vadim Chagarovsky, chairman of the Ukraine dairy enterprises union said in a statement.

The dairy industry is on the brink of a deep crisis and needs to be protected from overwhelming imports, Ukraine farmers claimed during the All-Ukraine Dairy Forum held in Kyiv on 25 September.

In 2020, the total number of dairy cows in Ukraine amounted to 1.7 million, which is a record low. The Covid-19 pandemic delivered a hard blow to the country’s dairy companies, hampering the demand for dairy products in the retail segment and reducing the population’s purchasing power. The present situation in the Ukraine dairy industry is critical, Chagarovsky added. The dairy business lost consumers and resources, which it could have got from sales,” Chagarovsky said.

Chagarovsky called on the government to strengthen measures against counterfeit products on the domestic dairy market and issue subsidies for export supplies. Additionally, Chagarovsky argues that Ukraine retailers should be obliged to pay for dairy products from farmers within 14 days of product delivery.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a fall in consumer demand, and a draught, almost all farmers are currently operating on the brink of profitability, according to research conducted by Kyiv-based think tank Infagro. This situation could lead to a drop in raw milk production and a jump in import supplies, Infagro said. A comprehensive industry development programme and relevant ministry is need of the hour.