9 August 2014 – Russian food imports ban and local food

The US Wall Street Journal has quite a long article on the Russian ban on food imports, including its likely effects on some US and European food markets. The article suggests that it ‘serves Mr. Putin’s domestic agenda by potentially boosting agricultural production at home and encouraging consumers to buy homemade goods amid a sluggish economic outlook’, and the BBC website quotes a Russian resident saying that ‘most of the time we buy locally produced meat and vegetables anyway’. At the same time, social media in Poland (as Europe’s largest exporter of apples) has been busy promoting local markets for apples that were destined for Russian markets (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/31/poland-takes-bite-out-russian-apple-ban ).

The Moscow Times reports that ‘Timothy Ash, head of emerging market analysis at Standard Bank, noted the potential for pork and fruit exporters in Serbia, the dairy and meat sector in Belarus, fruit and vegetables from Armenia — each country well-placed due to their traditional ties with Russia.’ and that ‘Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said Thursday that Russia planned to step up imports of Brazilian meat and cheese from New Zealand’. This appears to herald new directions and strategic thinking for perishable food production on a global scale.

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