shipments sent back

Russia considers boycott re-export

Several shipments of fruit and vegetables have once again been found in Russia that did not meet import demands. With Costa Rican pineapples, the phytosanitary certificate from Costa Rica was missing. The shipment was en route to Russia through the Netherlands. The inspection discovered apples from Moldova and tomatoes from Ukraine that were transported to the Russian market through Belarus. All shipments were sent back. For that reason, Russia is also considering a ban on re-export. This threat mainly concerns Ukraine and the Baltic states, but the Netherlands is also reportedly named. Meanwhile, inspections have been tightened. New compensation requests are not taken into consideration any longer, because there is no more room. The allocated volume has already been reached. The Netherlands receives one million euros from the first compensation, less than expected.

Russians complain about Magnit
Consumers had the opportunity to complain about supermarkets with inflated prices and sales of banned products. Russian authorities have recently publicized the results: 36% of complaints concern Magnit, around 11% are about Dixy. Auchan and Perekrestok are mentioned in 5% of complaints. Around 20% of complaints come from Moscow. Supermarkets there were inspected early September, and in some supermarkets, banned products were found. The large retailers have not responded to the accusations. Muscovites think that the price increases are caused by the boycott. The Russian consumers' association is assembling a database with retail prices in the capital.

Fraud at Auchan

At an Auchan in the Sverdlovsk region, falsified documents have been found with agricultural products. According to the papers, the products were supplied by Vip Frukty, but these documents turned out to be forged. The store management and the phytosanitary service have been notified. The inspection says that the products were not stored properly before inspection. The penalty for the offence is a fine.

Pineapples sent back due to missing document
At Bryansk customs, 15 tonnes of pineapple from Costa Rica was refused, because the phytosanitary certificate of the country of origin was missing. The pineapple was en route from the Netherlands to the Krasnodar region. According to authorities, it's possible the exporter tried to hide the country of origin. The pineapples were sent back.

Moldovan apples returned
Agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor reported having found 19 tonnes of apples from Moldova. The apples were imported through Belarus with forged documents. According to the papers, they were Belarusian apples, but the inspection concluded that they were Moldovan apples. The apples were sent back to Belarus. Earlier this week, 18 tonnes of tomatoes from Ukraine were sent back. The tomatoes were being imported through Belarus. The inspection discovered insects on the tomatoes, and decided to send back the shipment. Russia is considering a ban of re-export from Belarus. Controls of re-export have been tightened, after produce from Europe was imported several times under forged documents. 

Russia considers boycott re-export
The Russian phytosanitary service has doubts about the re-export certificates with products from Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Therefore, a boycott of re-export is being considered. For instance, substances used in Poland for storage, were found on apples from Ukraine. The matter is under discussion during a meeting of the Russian border regions. In addition, Russia is also said to target the Netherlands and Belarus. These countries are also suspected of fraud with re-export certificates.

Ukraine prices Russian produce differently
The Kiev city council has ordered stores to label Russian produce with a special price sticker. The products also have to be in a separate shelf. The measure is supported by shopkeepers. Apart from Kiev, other municipalities have taken similar measures.

The Netherlands gets 1 million compensation
According to LTO, the Netherlands only gets 1 million euros compensation from the first EU compensation plan. That is less than expected. This concerns the compensation from the first 125 million the EU made available. Of the 165 million under the second plan, the Netherlands gets 2.3 million.

Dutch compensation full
From October 10 onwards, it's no longer possible to apply for compensation for tomatoes, bell peppers, pickles, cucumbers and carrots. The 6800 tonnes for which the Netherlands can receive EU compensation, is full. The extra 3000 tonnes are also used up. Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and mushrooms could be compensated under the 3000 tonnes. Requests for compensation of these products are put on a waiting list. Requests are dealt with when earlier requests are rejected or repealed. Compensation can still be requested for apples and pears. The allocated 22,200 hasn't been fully used up. Members of a producer organization can still request compensation for vegetables under the GMO scheme.

Export value Netherlands decreasing
The export of agricultural produce remained level in 2014. That's what ING calculated. Although the overall Dutch export value decreased by 0.9%, agricultural export was good for a 1% growth. The growth, however, isn't thanks to fruit and vegetables, with vegetables actually going down by around 5%, and fruit by around 1%. "A number of fruit and tomato growers in particular will miss out on a lot of export revenue. Pricing for glass vegetables in particular was already disappointing before the boycott began, and now prices are back at, or over, levels of before August," ING writes. The bankers also see positive developments: the euro is decreasing in value, which is advantageous for export in general.

Kaliningrad two months after boycott
During the first weeks after the boycott, the Russian region of Kaliningrad was hit hard. Prices went up fast. Shortages arose, and all import channels for the Russian enclave enclosed by Europe, disappeared. Vester and Fruktorg, two supermarkets, were able to keep shelves stocked at reasonable prices. Thanks to its own distribution centre, Vester was able to keep supply and prices in check. Fruktorg succeeded in finding new suppliers fast. The boycott of re-export from Poland does not have any consequences for the region.

Russian import from Serbia +50%
This year, import from Serbia has gone up by 50% compared to last year, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture reports. The import of pork, cheese and apples in particular increased sharply. Both countries are cooperating to increase trade via harbours in the Black Sea.

Russia: 550,000 tonnes of potatoes harvested in Penza
In the Russian region of Penza, 549,300 tonnes of potatoes were harvested from October 2 onwards, on 38,800 hectares. The average yield in the region is 14.2 tonnes per hectare, and the expected yield this year is 800,000 tonnes.
Potato cultivation is supported by the regional government. The regional ministry of Agriculture is supporting the growers, who compete for subsidies with a value of 1.5 million roubles (30,000 euros), meant for establishing companies specialized in production, storage, packaging and processing of potatoes and vegetables. In 2014, nine participants will receive a grant of 1.5 million roubles (30,000 euros) for development of the potato and vegetable production in the region.

Russia cultivates blue potato
Scientists have developed a hybrid-coloured potato in a test tube. According to the researchers, the new variety is very healthy and rich in vitamins. The company has introduced a number of new hybrids, with coloured flesh and skin. The variety has not been named yet, but will be registered this year and sold starting in 2015. 
The cross-breeders assure that demand for the blue potato is high abroad, and that the variety will quickly find popularity with Russian restaurateurs and producers of fries.

With 30 tonnes per hectares, the blue potatoes have a good yield, are resistant to diseases and have good market qualities. It's an early variety, with a low amount of starch, but contains a lot of vitamin C and antioxidants. 

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