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Moscow trades school textbooks and medication for fresh produce

British government forgoes compensation

Great Britain is the only EU country not to claim compensation for 3,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables. All member states can get compensation for the removal from the market of 3,000 tonnes of produce. This way, the EU also wants to remedy the indirect consequences. The British government is forgoing this opportunity, to the dismay of the National Farmers Union. Dutch farmers retract earlier claims, which means 1.34 million worth of compensation has been requested in the end. Ukraine is going to the WTO, because the sanctions imposed by Russia violates a trade agreement between the countries. Although re-export from Ukraine is forbidden, it's possible that Turkish exporters will get a transit permit. This way, Turkish export can be shipped to Russia through Ukraine. Moscow is trading school textbooks and medication for fruit and vegetables from Tajikistan. The former Soviet republic wants to invest in logistics centres and infrastructure, in order to guarantee continuous export. And China is possibly investing in an agricultural project in Chechnya, where products like rice, fruit and vegetables will be grown.

No compensation for British sector
Under the latest EU compensation plan for the sectors that were hit, all member states can claim up to 3,000 tonnes. This way, the EU wants to remedy indirect consequences for the sector as well. But the British have relinquished this option. The British farmers did not export to Russia directly, but do suffer indirect consequences. The British ministry announces that "using tax payers' money to remove good British fruit and vegetables from the market is not an acceptable way to spend public funds. Removing 3,000 tonnes of British produce from the market will not affect prices significantly." The National Farmers Union (NFU) responded with disappointment, according to the NFU, British farmers are forced to remove products from the market, simply because nobody wants to buy them. The compensation would ease the losses.

Dutch farmers retract claims
In the final calculation from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, on October 22, 1.34 million euros worth of compensation is requested of the European Commission. This is the compensation under the first plan. On September 4, the amount was still 2.3 million euros. The difference is caused by farmers retracting their claims in the period between September 4 and October 22. That possibility was offered for farmers who could sell their produce through the market at better prices. The European Commission calculates the total amount received by the member states. In case the total amount claimed by the countries exceeds 125 million, an allocation coefficient will be used. According to the Dutch ministry, there are no indications of the budget being exceeded. Disbursement follows after the EC has determined the amounts.

Ukraine goes to WTO
In response to the boycott Russia imposed on Ukraine on October 22, Ukraine is going to the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to Ukraine, Russia has not filed official complaints regarding phytosanitary violations with Ukraine products, meaning Russia is in violation of the bilateral trade agreement between the countries. The Ukrainian government is expecting a loss of 17 million dollars this year, and a loss of 50-60 million dollars this year.

Turkish product to Russia via Ukraine
Turkish exporters are facing problems with export, now that transit through Ukraine has been shut down under last week's sanctions. The Russian phytosanitary service and Turkish organization discussed this problem. Russia is prepared to give the Turkish exporters a transit permit, so that Turkey can export to Russia via Ukraine.

Moscow trades school textbooks and medication for fresh produce
The mayor of Moscow announces having reached an agreement with the mayor of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, about a regular supply of fruit and vegetables. According to 2013 statistics, Tajikistan exported 948 MT to Moscow, including apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, and vegetables and nuts. In exchange for the fruit and vegetables, Moscow will supply textbooks for Russian lessons, and medication.

Salads back at McDonald's
At the end of the year, salads should be back on the menu of Russian McDonald's, Viktor Semenov, owner of Belaya Dacha, announced. Belaya Dacha is the most important supplier of vegetables to fast food chains. The company offers vegetables year-round. During autumn and winter, the company depends on import for this. To realize that, Belaya Dacha is actively looking to cooperate with Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, and Iran. Before the boycott, the company imported its products from Southern Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland.

Kaliningrad import from CIS +50%
The Kaliningrad region saw its import in the first nine months of this year go down by 20%. Import from other parts of Russia increased by 3-5%, and from the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), import doubled. The CIS is a partnership of former Soviet republics. The Kaliningrad region has, like the rest of Russia, tightened inspections on import. This year, the inspection has drafted 1519 deeds for return shipments, equivalent to 1390 MT of produce being sent back.

Sverdlovsk wants direct import South Africa
The Sverdlovsk region wants to import wine and fruit directly from South Africa. South African produce is available in the region, but is imported via Moscow. The region considers it more economically efficient to import directly from South Africa, and to skip the wholesalers in Moscow.

Tajikistan invests in logistic centres
The former Soviet republic wants to invest in logistic centres and infrastructure, to guarantee a continuous supply to Russia. Tajikistan wants to remedy the shortages that emerged in Russia following the sanctions. For this reason, a commission has been establish on a political level, which will deal with supply of agricultural and other products for which demand exists in Russia.

Figures Polish apple export month after boycott
Eurostat figures show shifts in the Polish apple export in the first month after the boycott. The export to outside the EU decreased by 31%, a year before Russia took up 83% of export to outside the EU. The statistics show a huge increase (+293%) of export to Belarus and Kazakhstan. In absolute figures, that amounts to 2,600 and 1,600 tonnes. Together these countries represented 90% of export outside the EU. Export to Ukraine and Serbia also increased, although the volumes are lower.

China invests in Chechen agriculture
Chinese investors foresee a large investment in Chechnya. The 165 million rouble (3.2 million euro) investment is used, among other things, to build a greenhouse centre. On 220 hectares, rice, fruit and vegetables will have to be grown. The Chinese are also investing in fishery and poultry farming. The project is to start this year.

Russia encourages Sri Lanka to export
During a meeting between Russia and Sri Lanka, the Russian ambassador encouraged exporters to benefit optimally from the opportunities that arose because of the boycott. In addition, access to the Russian market for Sri Lankan fishery and fruit and vegetable trade was discussed. Russian retailers requested detailed information about the products, volumes and availability.

Russia invests in wild berries
The Russian authorities are setting aside extra money for collecting and processing wild produce. Companies that are specialized in collecting berries, mushrooms and nuts in the wild, receive a subsidy for improvement of storage and processing facilities.
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