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38 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM SPOTLIGHT UKRAINE determining position for action or response of the association for the promotion of initiatives on behalf of the association fostering the development of practical application of legislation regarding the production and certification of seeds and plant quarantine development of initiative proposals to improve the work of the association in production and certification of seeds interaction between experts on seed production and certification and informing the international community on the content and status of seed production and certification. STRENGTHENING INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENT In 2011 Ukraine through SAU became a full member of the European Seed Association ESA. In March 2012 the SAU and ESA signed a General Code of Conduct. The main purpose of the adoption of the code is to establish and support international behaviour in the seed market aimed at encouraging ethical standards of companies and entities that operate in the field of seed production. In June 2012 the SAU joined the International Seed Federation ISF as an ordinary member and in 2013 held the first international conference on seed issues with the participation of the secretaries general of ESA and ISF. At the same time SAU regularly conducts working meetings with representatives of the State Agricultural Inspectorate the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service of Ukraine and several research and governmental institutions. In 2015 the association represented by the chairman of the board participated in the annual meeting of the ESA. For the association this participation was an important event as it enables Ukraine market participants to feel integrated into the European market and is an opportunity to follow the effectiveness of the joint efforts. The main external activities of the SAU include the following active cooperation with governmental authorities holding extended meetings with the competent authorities that form and implement policy in agriculture participation in working groups at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food on seed issues organisation and conducting practical seminars and workshops cooperation and holding working meetings with scientific institutions of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine operating at relevant state bodiesprovides proposals for draft laws that govern relations of the agricultural sector of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations development of proposals for legal regulation for industry executive authorities and developers of legal acts cooperation with international organisations working meetings with representatives of OECD and assistance in passing of the OECD audit by Ukraine on seed certification schemes in addition constant participation in industry conferences and seminars held in the field of agriculture. The main internal activities of the SAU include the following support of high standards of enterprise activities and business ethics among association members ensure efficient operation by association participants based on respect for the rule of law principle of legality and universally recognized ethical standards communicate other actors of seed market fundamentally legal position in relations with public authorities Ukraine show high level of responsibility and competitiveness of association members focus on the protection of economic interests of association members joint actions to achieve the effectiveness of legal regulation in the field of seed production. As part of the changes taking place today in the administrative system of Ukraines state administration it is vital to strengthen the role of professional non-governmental organisations and institutions. Also it should be noted that regardless of the industry the reputation of companies concerning their business culture statutory compliance as well as continuous improvement of varieties and hybrids of agricultural crops is crucially important. JOIN SAU Among the requirements for SAU membership is a positive reputation a high-performance business culture compliance with legal requirements and the ability to work on continuous improvement of varieties hybrids of crops. The association is always open to companies that chose a policy of reliability transparency and efficiency in the agricultural market of Ukraine. FUTURE CHALLENGES Despite the good outlook there are still a few challenges ahead for both the industry as well as the association such as to reform public administration and executive agencies to change legislation in the field of seed certification to optimise the taxation system to improve crop adaptation to global climate change to expand its own participation in international seed trade. LOOKING AHEAD SAU expects the importance of Ukrainian seed production and investments in the sector of agricultural production will constantly increase and the significant potential of the industry which until now has not been fully utilised will be realised. On the agenda in the near future is the completion of the accession to the OECD seed certification schemes for crucifers and other oil or fibre species. Ratio of import to export is 61. In 2014 in general Ukraine imported around 80 thousand tons of seeds including 57 thousand tons of corn 13.5 thousand tons of sunflower 2.7 thousand tons of rape. In the same year the country exported 14 thousand tons including 13.5 thousand tons of grain Table 2. In comparison with 2013 the volume of export increased by 27 per cent. For crops such as sunflower corn and sugar beet imports prevail. Export group is cereal crops. Winter wheat is a major agricultural crop and its seed production is more than 50 per cent of all seeds produced in Ukraine followed by barley and corn production. Seed production of triticale and durum wheat is relatively smallabout 1000 hectares per species each year. With respect to winter crops over the last two to three years Ukraine exported mostly seeds of winter wheat. In terms of spring crops spring barley seed is mainly exported. The country also exported corn sunflower and soy. The main consumers of seeds produced in Ukraine so far are the Commonwealth of Independent States countries including Russia Moldova Belarus Turkey and Iran. The preference of farmers remai ns v irtual ly unchangedhigh-quality seeds. IMPORT AND EXPORT