Fruitful production in the Ukraine

Ukrainian Fruit Co Ltd

This is an introduction to the export/import market of Ukraine - an East European country with a population of about 53 million people.

Since Ukraine gained its independence in December 1991 huge changes have been occurring in all spheres of life: economical, political, social, etc. From the early stages of its existence as an independent state Ukrainian leadership proclaimed that a free market economy was the country's strategic goal. Reforms in Ukraine's economy and politics forced development in the market infrastructure in the country.

The predecessors of the joint stock 'Ukrainian Fruit Company' started their fresh fruit business back in 1992 with a small retail network in Ukraine's capital city Kiev. In early 1995 the company carried out its first import and wholesale transactions. Like many other private enterprises of the former Soviet Union, we have been forced to overcome plenty of hardships on the way to success. A poorly developed infrastructure, constant changes in local import/export, financial and tax regulations, limited financial resources, bureaucracy at various levels - these seem to be common features in most CIS and East European states. Ukraine is no exception. On the other hand, the above mentioned obstacles force local businessmen to be flexible to find the best possible ways to develop their business.

Ukraine, as a nation with population of 53 million people, a territory bigger than France, seems to be very attractive for potential investors. It is understandable that for the time being the low average income of local people, changes in laws and protectionist measures introduced by the Government (like import taxes on many types of products) have lead to many Western businessmen being wary of investing their funds in the nation's economy. According to our calculations, the United Kingdom - country with approximately the same population - consumes around five times as many bananas and other tropical fruits as Ukraine does. But just three years ago this figure would have reached 50 times. This is just an example of the nation's huge potential.

The privatisation process currently under way in Ukraine is committed to improving the economic situation in the country. The success of privatisation in Ukraine must greatly increase the effectiveness of the local economy as a whole. This would result in a rise in people's incomes and their purchasing capability. This factor is decisive for the development of a free market economy in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Fruit Company is an example of a fast growing private Ukrainian firm. It represents a group of companies carrying out import, export, wholesale and retail trade, marine product processing all over Ukraine. Bananas, citric fruits, tropical fruits, vegetables, juices, yoghurts and seafood products imported from dozens of countries are our main products. We're among the most recognised and reliable suppliers of fresh fruits and vegetables in Ukraine, having representatives in Lvov, Kharkov, Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk with a head office in the capital city Kiev. Our annual imports in 1995 reached a total of US$25 million.

Today Ukrainian Fruit Company is entering a new stage in its development. Fruit ripening equipment has been installed at the site nearby Kiev which allows us to import larger wholesale quantities of bananas and other fresh fruits and process them for sale on the local market. These facilities enable us to be more flexible in meeting everyday market demands. We plan to install more ripening rooms in the Kiev region and other parts of Ukraine in the near future to bring ourselves closer to our customers.

As a dynamically growing business we have a lot of plans for further development. Among them is the enlargement of our seafood processing facilities and setting-up of a polygraphic complex to be equipped for producing various colour prints - from small sizes to big posters for street advertising. There is currently high demand for this kind of service on the local market.

Like most people here in Ukraine we are looking forward to the success of the economic reforms which is vital for the future development of the whole nation. The development of a free market economy is the only way for the country to implement its huge economic potential to reach West European living standards. We hope this will be achieved in the near future.

We are willing to establish more business contacts with partners worldwide and opened to discuss any possible forms of co-operation. Ukrainian Fruit Company is at your disposal anytime. We would like to say: Welcome to Ukraine!

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