The Ukraine Report: Chefs helping people survive are now facing supply issues

The ongoing war in Ukraine has actually boosted their domestic culinary industry, and while that has benefited one company, it has also caused supply issues.

Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide boots-on-the-ground coverage:

The ugly side of the war is obvious to everyone. We have repeatedly shown the terrible and devastating consequences of the Russian invasion to Ukraine.
And all the more respect to Ukrainian farmers and entrepreneurs, as many continue to upgrade their business in these adverse conditions.

Alla Taran from the Poltava region managed to increase the production of frozen semi-finished products, helped local producers to survive

“This is where our ready produce is stored: this is some dumplings, here are some packaged dumplings that are ready to be sent to the client, and here is our newly designed craft bags,” said Taran.

Ukrainians have been engaged in agriculture since antiquity. Therefore, their culinary culture has always included flour dishes. The most popular Ukrainian flour product prepared from boiled dough and nowadyas we know it as a nutritious galushka. The galushka became a symbol of the Poltava region after being honored by writers in their works. A monument has been erected in honor of the galushka, for which a food festival is conducted. Therefore, it is not a surprise that local producers of frozen food frequently begin their product line offerings galushka.

Alla Taran has been building her own enterprise “The Dykansky traditions” almost for a decade, In the Poltava region’s small village of Dibrova, according to a unique recipe, several workers manually prepare nearly 50 varieties of dumplings.

“When the war started, in addition to the shock, we also experienced an emotional and patriotic upsurge, and our production increased by several tons. Our employees worked here in several shifts. Local costumers, due to the fear of possible hunger, purchased our semi-finished products in huge volumes. In some sense, the beginning of the war was a kind of impetus for the scaling of our company’s business. But at the same time, we faced huge problems with the supply of raw materials. Only thanks to the fact that we have a flour production plant nearby, with which we have been cooperating for a long time, they released it to us little by little. Flour was simply not delivered to all other bases and stores,” Taran said.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Alla was advised to apply for a grant from the United States Agency for International Development. Three days were devoted by Alla and her spouse on the application. Eventually, their efforts were fruitful, as the United States Agency for International Development chose their initiative and began funding the project. As a result, the business acquired modern refrigeration, an oven, electric frying pans, dough-rolling equipment, and various other appliances.

Currently, a small enterprise produces 400-500 kg of frozen products per day.

“Our workers used to do everything manually, they even gained some muscles. Of course, now it is much easier for them to work. After all, they kneaded 50 kg of dough with their hands during their work shift. It is very difficult.”

In addition to enhancing your company’s competitiveness, what other benefits did you receive from participating in the United States Agency for International Development grant program?

We have expanded our cooperation with local farmers and established a supply chain with them. whereas previously, we only purchased vegetables in bulk. And because we are growing and expanding our business, cooperating with us is highly profitable and engaging for them. In turn, they increase the production of their own products because there is now a market for them.”

That report was powered by Latifundist Media, with USAID support provided through Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity implemented in Ukraine by Chemonics International. For more information, visit their website or follow them on social media.