Today, all Ukrainians who go Europe by car suffer from long queues at the border passages between Ukraine and Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary. We spend 6-12 hours in queues at “damned customs”, and taking into account stress, this time can be multiplied by 5 or 10. And how about those with small children?
Ukrainian customs officers are not to blame: they work according to standards, taking 3-5 minutes to deal with one car. They don’t spend their lives at the border for pleasure. Customs officers need to feed their families. Give these people an opportunity to work somewhere else, and they gladly will.
There is only one problem with queues – 90% of those crossing the border are Ukrainians. Only 10% are foreigners who come to us. For some reason, we rush to Europe to buy food, clothes for a child, tires for our cars, and with the possibilities of our country, it should be the opposite. According to business laws, everything should be 50/50: and the proportional crossing of the border by Ukrainians and Europeans is the key to success!
What will this result into and how does it concern farmers?
Firstly, what can we do to attract modern Europeans? Beautiful nature, high-quality organic products, which are extremely popular in the EU. How does it affect the crazy queues at customs? A German will not stand in a queue for 12 hours. A month will pass, the first few thousand German, Polish, Czech cars will cross the border, and they will quickly put their customs officials in their place, making them work following the norms. You’ll say that there are two queues: All passport and EU passport, and nothing will change this for Ukrainian travelers. I’m sure it will change because when a German stands in a queue for two kilometers to the first barrier, he can only boast about his European passport in front of a herd of cattle on the pasture.
We have to align the flow of tourists on cars and make it 50/50
What needs to be done?
▪ To build (not just repair!) at least 20-30 kilometers of roads near the border so that the first impressions won’t be depressing and a foreigner would not enter a “black hole”, but a beautiful eco-country and with quality illumination;
▪ To “hook” a European tourist with Ukrainian product – vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy, delicious baked goods. And, of course, there are Ukrainian delicacies like prunes in chocolate. That’s all we need to succeed. Europeans have missed this, they have already forgotten the taste of organic tomatoes or eggs from free chickens. These are the only ones we’ve got, though we do not appreciate it.
Europeans call organic products “like it was once upon a time”. In Ukraine, it has remained the same as before. We can offer it and earn a capital on it. Unfortunately, many Ukrainians are more likely to buy European products in bright packaging, but their tastes will change over time.
In European organic shops, there is a crazy number of Ukrainian products, and this is already a little recognition. It is clear that we need to add rural eco-tourism, eco-houses, eco-markets at the borders with excellent service. We do not need to offer low prices, everything should be expensive and of high quality!
Europeans want to feel Ukrainian free nature, which they do not have.
What will this give our country?
▪ A huge, unique, independent from companies-billionaires currency income that will stabilize the national currency;
▪ Acceleration of the work of customs officers on the other side of the border, as there will respect our country and citizens. It is necessary that foreigners become dependent on a trip to Ukraine so that all eco-villas on family farms would be booked six months ahead + provide auto-tours to the eco-market at the border.
▪ Economic independence of hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of citizens, self-realization of artists and other creators.
P.S. Therefore, dear farmers, make a quality product, rebuild your homes in abandoned villages and you will be successful! I meet with 5-10 foreigners each month and have learned what they want and what they are willing to pay for in convertible currency. Good luck!
Dmitry Solomchuk – Head of the “Agro-Center”, chairman of the public organization “Chas-Diy”.
Dmitry Solomchuk, head of the “Agro-Center”, chairman of the public organization “Chas-Diy”.
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