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Food embargo could help organic agriculture in Russia

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The embargo on importing European foodstuffs, imposed on Russia in 2014, is acting as an incentive for domestic production of organic food. Experts also see potential for foreign investment it says in the online magazine Russia and India Report.

The embargo has deprived the Russian market of a significant portion of imported eco-products. "No less than 95 percent of organic foods was previously sourced from imports," says Denis Prasolov, CEO of Organic Corporation. Eco-fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts and dried goods were sourced in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, USA and Canada. The remaining five percent came from around 100 certified Russian producers. Organic farmers in Russia are supplying milk and dairy products, meat, poultry and cereals. The Russian market is estimated to be worth £100 million (according to US government body FAS, the Foreign Agricultural Service) or EUR 137m.

The organic food market has grown 20 percent in the last three years. Eco-market participants are expecting 10-15 percent growth in 2015, despite the crisis. Russia has some 40 million hectares of untilled, vacant land untreated by chemical fertilizers for more than 20 years and therefore suitable for growing eco-friendly products. A tiny fraction, 0.06 percent – 126,800 ha – is used for eco farming. "Russia has huge organic potential but in the current economical and political circumstances I doubt foreign investors might be interested in the region. Especially while the situation with the law on organic agriculture is still unclear," said Tatyana Lebedeva, founder of web portal Look.Bio to Organic-Market.Info.


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