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It’s now the Russian government’s move

No technical objections to lifting boycott Turkish tomatoes

The decision to lift the boycott of Turkish tomatoes is now up to the Russian government, but the Ministry of Agriculture sees “no technical obstacles” to not lifting the boycott. That’s the conclusion of negotiations which took place between Turkey and Russia last week. After the negotiations, the Russian State Secretary of Agriculture, Evgeniy Gromiko, said: “We will share our position that there are no technical objections with the Russian government.”

With that, the road is formally clear to lift the boycott, although during the press conference Gromiko did imply it could take months before the import of Turkish tomatoes can start again, to give producers a chance to plan their production. According to Russia, three billion dollar was invested in greenhouse cultivation in the past ten years. From the Russian negotiations, these investments and the protection of Russian tomato growers were constantly emphasised.

It will probably be mostly major Turkish companies that both grow and market tomatoes which will be given access to the Russian market. The Russian phytosanitary service, Rosselkhoznadzor, inspected several large tomato companies earlier this month. Traceability is an important argument of the Russians to choose large exporters.

“The obstacle to lifting the tomato imports ban is the government decree,” said Mehmet Danis, the Turkish State Secretary of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. “We expect that the Russian government will pass an amendment to the decree to open the road for the import of tomatoes.” 

Publication date: 9/19/2017


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