"Inspection [in Ukraine meat companies] would cost UAH35 million (US$1.63m), and the state budget cannot provide this amount of money for this issue," he said. "As a result, obtaining permits for meat exports from Ukraine to the EU has been postponed indefinitely."
"The worst thing is that we cannot ask business for assistance in this matter, as the EU insists these inspections should be funded by the state to ensure greater objectivity," he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy revealed that inspections had already take place in the dairy industry. Lapa explained: "Export approval for dairy products should be granted to Ukraine companies this year, although this is a different sector."
It is now projected that the same approval for meat exports will not take place before 2016. Market participants say approving Ukraine companies to supply meat to the EU would bolster Ukraine’s meat industry significantly, as companies would also be able to supply products to a number of destinations outside Europe that recognise European safety standards.
"I do not think Europe needs a lot of Ukraine meat. But we are talking about a broader issue here," said Mikhail Sokolov, deputy head of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council. "These inspections mean approved companies will receive special identification codes, granting them the right to conduct export supplies to the EU. But these codes also open the door to a huge number of third-country markets that recognise Europe’s security standards."
Experts also pointed out that Ukraine should focus on markets where it products are more competitive on price.
"In April last year, the EU took an unprecedented step, unilaterally opening its markets to Ukrainian goods. But since then, our exports to the EU have only risen 2.6%. The majority of these exports are raw materials, and there are almost no finished products. No matter how much preference is given, this will not guarantee that Ukrainian goods will conquer any [EU] market if they are uncompetitive," added Anatoliv Kinakh, head of Ukraine’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has already received permission to export poultry to the EU and the market has been growing almost every month since the third quarter of 2014, when permission was granted. In the first two months of 2015, Ukraine supplied 4,000 tonnes of poultry to the EU, while the overall quota for the year is 36,000 tonnes.