Martin Fitzgerald and Mike McGrath, co-founders of Kwayga announced the “European Shelves for Ukrainian Producers” project at the Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Showcase 2023. Kwayga.com is an Enterprise Ireland-backed sourcing engine that uses technology to connect large food and beverage buyers with new, verified suppliers in Europe.
The invasion of Ukraine has created one of the most significant humanitarian crises of this last half-ce tury and supporting Ukrainian food and drinks exporters to start/re-start exporting is a vital ingredient in Ukraine’s economic recovery. Following Kwayga’s webinar in Autumn 2022, titled “Ukraine is Open for Business”, USAID ERA and Kwayga held discussions about how Kwayga’s sourcing services could benefit Ukrainian Food + Drinks exporters.
USAID Economic Resilience Activity (USAID ERA) is a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development and implemented by Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) Global, which runs from 2018-2026.
The “European Shelves for Ukrainian Producers”, a project in partnership between USAID ERA and Kwayga, will support Ukrainian Food and Drinks Producers to start/re-start export activity, with the strategic focus to develop sustainable international buyers’ connections to market and sell their produce. Kwayga and the USAID ERA will collaborate on this project whereby Kwayga will provide advice, expertise, and access to a commercial European network of buyers who will provide verified buying requests for Ukrainian Food and Drinks Producers. Kwayga’s primary role is as a starting point in B2B matchmaking, bringing producers and retailers together and fostering new contracts.
The ultimate objective of this project is to have “Made in Ukraine” produce on European supermarket shelves in 2023 and beyond. This will be achieved through product sourcing, marketing, brand awareness, training and sales development initiatives. Kwayga will find the best match between the European retailers’ needs (positions on the shelves) and what Ukrainian producers can offer.
Commenting on this partnership, Mike McGrath, CEO of Kwayga stated “We are delighted to turn the power of the sourcing and connecting platform we have built at Kwayga to assist Ukrainian food and beverage producers to re-commence or commence exporting. What has happened in Ukraine is tragic, we are keen to work with the USAID ERA and do whatever we can to help these businesses get their products to EU shelves and assist in the rebuilding of the Ukrainian economy”.
Representing USAID ERA, Andrii Sheveliev, the Ukraine Export Lead, stated that “this is a historic project where through a smart platform, we can discover and forge commercial relationships for an array of Ukrainian food and drinks producers. It is important to remember that Ukraine is not only producing grain and cooking oil; our food sector has numerous modern manufacturers with great added value, in terms of cost and other advantages, which we will introduce to buyers across the EU via Kwayga”.
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