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With the help of the International Trade Center, we’ve supplemented our knowledge for two years – Natalia Pukshyn, CEO, TM Blue Berry

Our company has been operating since 2013. We are fresh blueberry producers, certified according to Global Gap standards with the plantation of 100 hectares in Transcarpathia. Our second plantation of 30 hectares is situated 120 km from Kyiv and is expanding now.

Since 2014 we’ve continued attending Fruit Logistica as visitors as it is the largest exhibition focused on the fresh market. We looked at the companies and countries represented at Fruit Logistica. We looked at the companies and countries represented at Fruit Logistica. At the meanwhile, our plantation started fruiting. When we trained people on how to work according to this standard, and when we already had export lots, then we decided to participate and represent both Ukraine and the company at Fruit Logistica. That’s why, since 2019, we have been working at the collective Ukrainian stand as participants.

I enjoyed the exhibition this year, as due to the gained experience, we were able to prepare wholly meetings, approach the production of quality materials, and meet the partners that we’ve planned to not only due to the berries supplement. In particular, we were able to meet our partners in agro-fiber supplements. I like this kind of meeting because it makes partnership permanent and long-term. In this way, our team also gains experience. We are improving every year.

This time we took our chief agronomist with us for the first time to see how the countries represented themselves. There was also a Production Director with us who knows the whole structure of our company, and representatives of the central sales office. Our goal was, first, to represent Ukraine and, second, our company, which is growing very fast.

Our development strategy involves the partial export of products, so during Fruit Logistica, we’ve gained the appropriate contacts. This exhibition is always impressive – a real show. I remember that I’ve had a shock for the first three years. I’ve used to approach a lot of stands, had plenty of meetings and conversations. With the pace of time, you understand how to represent your company, and feel at ease, free. This time we were weighted. The preparation took a while. I believe that any meeting requires a good structure, scheduled in the framework of Fruit Logistica or not. Of course, if we want to achieve success in life.

It’s Fruit Logistica merit that we’ve established new contacts; the company has gained a piece of experience. Our employees working with us for more than a year have changed their attitude towards their work. Though they were professional enough, thanks to what they saw, the line of their professional horizon became deeper.

Thanks to the help of the ‘Ready to Trade’ project implemented by International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by European Union, we not only joined the collective Ukrainian stand during the exhibition but also received quality seminars for two years. We could contact the organizers from ITC with any question, any query regarding a specific specialist or lecture, and we supplemented our knowledge in this way.

For all of us, quarantine is not an easy time, especially for the company that carries hundreds of jobs and hundreds of families. In this situation, we should stand firm in the face of any challenges and react quickly while remaining calm. Agrarians can’t stop, and the thoughts of further participation in international exhibitions, enriched by the renewed perception of the value of personal communication with the partners of the company, support us.

During Fruit Logistica 2020 Blue Berry LLC took part in the work of joint Ukrainian stand within the framework of the ITC “Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade – an EU4Business initiative” project, aimed to support the access of small and medium-sized apparel enterprises to the European markets’. As part of the EU4Business initiative, the project is funded by the European Union.

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