Veteran Produces Craft Foods in War-Torn Region

February 28, 2021

Serhiy Svyrydenko is a craft food producer close to the frontline in Ukraine’s East. When Russia started its occupation in 2014, Serhiy left his life and business in Donetsk and joined the Ukrainian army to fight for his land.

Serhiy and his wife Snizhana moved to this cottage in the village of Ivanopillia. While one can still hear shooting some 22 kilometres from here, Serhiy started Cossack Courtyard, a craft dairy and meat produce.

He owns an eco farm with over a hundred goats, pigs, chicken and ducks. To sell craft sausages, yogurts, cheese and other goods, Snizhana and her son usually go to the Dnipro farmers’ market. Because their dairy is right next to their house,they cannot get a certificate and enter the market as a big producer.

Because of the lockdown, their shop and fairs were closed and online orders are rare. Serhiy’s business survives on grants and loans. But even the proximity of the war does not stop him. Serhiy aims to buy more land to expand his farm and even welcome visitors for eco-tourism.

Author: Iryna Matviyishyn

The material was prepared with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of the project Stories from Ukraine. The material reflects the position of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the position of the International Renaissance Foundation.