UFU concern over Russia food import ban

Thursday, 7 August, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has voiced its concern over Russia’s decision to ban all food imports from EU countries, with UFU president Ian Marshall stating; “Any barrier to trade is a cause for concern, especially as the NI agri-food industry is predominately export driven.”
Ian Marshall said; “Russia’s decision demonstrates the volatility of the world export market, and it is likely that that NI’s dairy industry will feel the effects of the decision first but it will ultimately have implications for the entire agri-food industry. Of the milk and milk products we produce almost 80% of them go to markets outside NI and while Russia only makes up a small percentage of this, the ban on food imports will have an impact on those who have had the initiative to break into the Russian market. At present, there are no NI red meat, pork or poultry imports into Russia so those sectors will not be immediately impacted by the ban.

“Looking at the bigger picture, all 28 EU member states will be affected by Russia’s blanket ban on food imports. There are many that have built up a great reliance on the Russian market and with it closed they will be looking to find a new home for their products. This is potentially a much bigger issue for us as there will undoubtedly be increased competition in world export markets.

“It is disappointing that farmers and the wider agri-food industry have been drawn into this global dispute. However, ensuring Northern Ireland has a diverse portfolio of market opportunities to support a growing and expanding agri-food industry will help to cushion against similar situations in future and cement our place in world export markets.”