Canada opens borders for Polish apples

Russia intercepts fruit from Netherlands

Russian authorities report having intercepted a shipment of 18 tonnes of fruit from the Netherlands. The country of origin indicated on the fruit reportedly did not match what was on the documents, and the labels were said to have been replaced. Belarusian customs held back 100 tonnes of fruit and vegetables from Poland. Although Kazakhstan was listed as a destination in the documents, the shipment was meant for the Russian market, according to officials. Canada is opening its borders for Polish apples. According to the Polish ambassador, politically the decision has been made, and now it's up to the traders. The European Commission is sending inspectors to Poland to check on the compensation request. Poland claimed 145 million Euro, more than the EC's total compensation budget. Prices in Ukraine plummeted by 8.4%, after Russia closed its borders. The closed borders are indicated as a cause for the decrease. Distribution centres in West Siberia guarantee supply to supermarkets in the region. Russian supermarkets opt for local produce more often. Although motivated by the boycott, retailers say they are also opting for local produce in the long run.

Russia intercepts fruit from Netherlands
Russian authorities report having intercepted a shipment of fruit from the Netherlands, the papers of which weren't in order. This is reportedly a shipment of various varieties of fruit from several countries of origin, exported to Russia through the Netherlands, with a total volume of 18 tonnes. According to the Russian phytosanitary service, the countries of origin stated on the forms do not match the bar codes on the products. The service also found indications of labels having been replaced.

Polish produce stopped in Belarus
Belarusian customs officers report having stopped 100 tonnes of fruit and vegetables from Poland. The products were reportedly on their way to Russia. According to Belarusian media, these were seven trucks with products like apples, plums, cabbage and tomatoes from Poland. According to the documents, the destination was Kazakhstan, but customs say they have discovered the destination to be Russia. Until now, Belarusian customs have stopped 580 tonnes of produce that were to be exported illegally to Russia.

Canada opens borders for Polish apples
According to the Polish ambassador in Canada, an agreement was reached last week on the export of apples. It's now the importers' move, they have to make a deal with Canadian importers, according to the ambassador. The Pole sees a lot of opportunities for Polish apples, pointing to the 140 million dollars the United States make annually on export of apples to Canada. The ambassador also points to the high sales prices, 3 dollars per kilo. The negotiations started in 2012, but gained momentum in August.

EC checking up on Polish compensation request
On November 17, the Polish Ministry of Agriculture is receiving European Commission inspectors, who will look into the country's compensation requests. The special inspection follows Poland's extraordinarily high claims. Poland requested 145 million euros in compensation, while the EC's total budget was 125 million euros.

Poland supports growers with 23.7 million euros
The Ministry of Agriculture is supporting growers in finding new markets. 23.7 million euros is made available to exporting apple, cabbage and onion growers. New markets are also being looked for, with plans for negotiations with countries in the Caucasus, Iran and Kazakhstan. The minister is focusing on new markets for fruit and vegetables, at the moment there's said to be a surplus of a million tonnes.

Ukrainian prices plummet due to boycott
The price for fruit and vegetables has gone down by 8.4% in the October 18-24 period, APK-Inform calculated. This decrease coincides with the Russian boycott. So the boycott is seen as a cause for the sharp price decreases. The heaviest blows are felt by growers of greenhouse cucumbers, greenhouse tomatoes and apples, most of which were exported to Russia. In the near future, a further price decrease is expected. Onion prices also plummeted. In the week before the boycott, prices went up, but that increase stopped abruptly. Prices for tubers and potatoes continue to go down by 3.1% in one week.

Distribution centres Siberia guarantee supplies
Distribution centres Maria-Ra and Anix in Siberia guarantee a continuous supply of products to 860 stores in West Siberia. These centres' productivity, according to the regional government, is sufficient to maintain a steady supply of food and to compensate for the disappeared import. Many of the products are cultivated locally. The centres fit into the Russian government's investment plan to strive for self-sufficiency. Maria-Ra has an acreage of 41,400 m2, having room for 18,000 tonnes. 2,800 tonnes are turned over daily. Vegetable storage Anix has room for 4,000 tonnes.

Auchan going for local production
Because of the sanction, retailers in Russia are increasingly working together with local producers. Hypermarket Auchan is establishing a network of local suppliers in the Krasnodar region. 35 producers from the region are already said to supply to Auchan, with three contracts signed this year and three further contracts being negotiated. This year, the share of local producers has gone up by 20%. Retail chain X5 is also expanding its network of local suppliers. The chain is interested in products like fruit and veg, dairy and meat. According to an X5 spokesperson, the choice for local producers is motivated by the boycott, but the supermarket wants to buy more at regional producers in future as well.

Product Tajikistan cheaper than European
According to regional authorities in Kurgan, fruit and vegetables from Tajikistan are much cheaper than European produce. The government emphasizes that Russia and Tajikistan are going to work together to keep prices stable, by investing in distribution centres and storage and processing facilities. The Russians are prepared to share technology, and to contribute to construction of facilities and joint ventures. According to the authorities, despite these investments prices will be significantly lower than those of European produce.

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