Business culture, technologies, partnership: Ukrainian farmers visited Sweden

The ITC project “Linking Ukrainian SMEs in the Fruits and Vegetables Sector to Global and Domestic Markets and Value Chains”, in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, organized a study visit to Sweden for Ukrainian entrepreneurs of the fruit and vegetable sector.

Within 4 days: from November 10 to November 14, producers and processors of fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts from different regions of Ukraine held a series of business meetings with representatives of Swedish trade networks, business support organizations, professional equipment manufacturing companies.

Ukrainian businessmen also visited the Nordic Organic Food Fair and had the opportunity to establish useful business contacts during the visit.

The National Board of Trade

On the first day of the study visit, Ukrainians were greeted by representatives of the National Board of Trade, the Swedish governmental agency responsible for issues relating to foreign trade, the Internal Market and trade policy. The main mission of the agency is to promote an open and free trade with transparent rules.

As the expert authority in trade and trade policy, the Board provides the Government with analyses and background material, related to ongoing international trade negotiations as well as more structural or long-term analyses of trade-related issues. The Board publishes materials to raise awareness of the role of international trade and provides services to companies and individual entrepreneurs facing trade barriers in the domestic market.

The Board representatives Anamaria Deliu and Emma Wallfelt told about the agency’s activities and the Open Trade Gate Sweden platform, which promotes trade and informs exporters about the laws and requirements of Sweden and the EU.

To facilitate trade and increase exports from developing countries to Sweden, we provide information on official rules, procedures and technical requirements applicable to exports to Sweden, say representatives of the National Board of Trade.

“Our services include answers to questions from exporters from developing countries and from Swedish importers interested in importing from these countries. We respond in a user-friendly format. We answer all the questions we receive, and if the issue concerns an area we do not cover, we provide the exporter with the contacts of the relevant organization,” Ms. Emma noted.

Anamaria Deliu also spoke about some of the features of the Swedish fruit and vegetable market, the Swedish business culture and the rules and regulations in force in the EU. She noted that Swedish companies and entrepreneurs are mostly open and honest about the business. They expect the same from their partners. Swedish businessmen are characterized by punctuality, courtesy, quick transition to work issues during business meetings and clearly regulated negotiation time. Anamaria notes that negotiations with Swedish companies can take several months, but if the contract is signed, it means you are trusted and want to cooperate for a long time.

Nordic Organic Food Fair

During the visit, a delegation of Ukrainian entrepreneurs visited the Nordic Organic Food Fair – one of the largest profile events in northern Europe and Scandinavia in particular. It brings together the region’s leading manufacturers, suppliers and buyers of certified organic produce.

Fruits, vegetables, drinks, nuts, various sweets, variations of bread products, cosmetics, hygiene products… The Nordic Organic Food present new products in the field of organics and establish contacts with Scandinavian companies. The trade show is attended by more than 500 companies that present about 5,000 certified products.

Participants of our delegation had the opportunity to get acquainted with the exhibits, to communicate with representatives of different directions in the field of the food industry, to see trends in the development of organic products and to exchange contacts with interested entrepreneurs.


During the visit to Sweden, Ukrainian entrepreneurs also had a number of meetings with Swedish manufacturers of professional equipment that could be used in certain areas of the fruit and vegetable business.

OctoFrost is a globally recognized supplier of food processing equipment with a deep focus on thermal treatment such as blanching, cooking, chilling and IQF freezing.

Company founder Ruben Larsson said OctoFrost machines can be used for processing a wide range of IQF products (fruits, vegetables, berries, seafood, meat, poultry, pasta, dairy, and grains) and are designed with customers’ needs in mind: for a natural appearance of the products, reliable food safety, high yield and energy efficiency.

One of the benefits of OctoFrost installations is online worldwide customer support and participation in the OctoFrost Link program, which allows OctoFrost customers to reach their potential customers directly. According to Mr. Larsson, his company has more than 300 successful customer installations in more than 50 countries.

Several other business meetings were held with representatives of Solserv, which manufactures food waste composting equipment and packaging equipment; with a representative of Sanso Mixing, which manufactures machines for mixing and dispensing powders and liquids; and a representative from Osram, which offers specialty lamps for growing plants indoors.

At Solserv we saw composting machine Oklin. It is a food waste solution for a variety of personal and commercial purposes: from a household, to restaurants and large supermarkets. Utilizing microbial technology, our composting machines reduce waste volume by up to 90%, decrease disposal costs, and create a nutrient-rich, reusable end product. Oklin machines turn food waste into ready-made compost in 24 hours.


The organizers of the study visit to Sweden prepared a series of meetings with representatives of the Swedish retail chains and importers of fresh produce for Ukrainian farmers.

During the visit, such meetings were held with representatives of Sweden’s largest trading network – ICA. The company holds 51% of all the country’s trading networks. Similar meetings were held with representatives of Axfood, Bergendahls, Ewerman.

We also met with traders of Hebe, a company that supplies fresh vegetables and fruits to the Swedish market. The company works 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They bring fresh produce from dozens of countries in Europe and the world. Hebe ensures a steady supply of quality fruits and vegetables to retail outlets. After a brief overview of the warehouses of the company, Ukrainian farmers were able to communicate with Hebe sales managers in B2B format.

We hope that the visit to Sweden enriched Ukrainian entrepreneurs with new knowledge, positive experiences and useful business contacts that will turn into success stories in the future.

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