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Food firms fear effects of Russian ban

Thursday, August 07 16:33:08

The ban on food imports announced by the Russian government is a cause for serious concern for Irish agrifood industries, Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) said today.

Russia is a significant market for Irish dairy, meat and prepared consumer food products, FDII's Cormac Healy said.

"This year long ban, which affects dairy and meat exports, in particular, will have serious direct and indirect implications for the sector. Irish agrifood exports to Russia are in the region of 235 million per annum, and this will have a direct effect on businesses," he added.

"However, the indirect impact is also a major concern as there will be significant volumes of displaced products forced on to the EU and international markets that otherwise would have gone to Russia. This is happening at a time when international markets are already faced with strong supply, this is particularly the case for dairy products, and this is expected to affect prices."

While the loss of direct exports to Russia is a setback for the industry, the potential negative price implications for other export sales because of Russian-destined product now emerging on other markets is a major concern. Russia, for example, accounts for one third of total EU cheese and butter exports, 15pc of EU beef exports and 25pc on EU pigment exports (although Russia already has import restrictions on EU pigmeat since January).

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