Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - EuropeUS edition | Asian edition

Headlines > Market Trends

A joined up response: Commission responds to Russian trade sanctions

A joined up response: Commission responds to Russian trade sanctions

The EU has reassured food producers that new measures brought in by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) including a crisis reserve are in place to assist them in the fallout of Russian trade sanctions - adding that a joined up European response is needed to help 'reorient' markets rapidly.

Last week Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a ‘full embargo’  on a number of categories of food from the EU member states, the US, Australia, Canada and Norway. The one year ban on imports in retaliation to Western sanctions brought against Russia in recent months is expected to have a serious impact on the European food and agricultural industry, with industry associations and experts warning that the sanctions could have dire consequenses for European food producers that have previously exported large quantities to Russia.

However, the European Commission has moved to reassure EU producers that measures are in place to help support them during a period of readjustment.

“I understand the concern expressed in the EU farming sector," said EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloș in a written statement.

"I want to underline that the Common Agricultural Policy has new and modernised tools to stand by them, as soon as it is needed, including our crisis reserve, which is already available now."

Cioloș said he is 'confident' that the EU's resilient farming and agricultural farm "will reorient rapidly towards new markets and opportunities," but added that there must be support to help this transition happen smoothly. 

"This requires a joined up, European response," said the Commissioner. "I have spoken with Farm Ministers from across Europe, and in particular with Mr Maurizio Martina, Italian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, and Council President. In the current context, the most important is to react in a proportionate and rapid way should the situation arise." 

"As always when market situations require, I have already instructed my Services to establish a Task Force to analyse the potential impacts sector by sector, and to assess how we can effectively provide meaningful support if and where this is needed."

"Second, my Services will today call a meeting of senior agricultural experts from all EU Member States, to take place next Thursday.“

Export importance

According to FoodDrinkEurope, the trade body representing Europe’s food and drink industry, Russia remains the EU's second most important food export market after the US. Exports of food and raw materials to Russia were worth €12.2 billion in 2013, following several years of double-digit growth.

“The structure of EU exports to Russia is quite diversified, with meat, dairy and beverages appearing as the most important categories; a large part of the EU food and drink exports to Russia come from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Poland, which means these countries are likely to be more affected,” said the European industry body, noting that EU food and drink products make up almost half of the total Russian food and drink imports, “which means that this ban will also have an impact on the Russian people.”

Meanwhile European farming and agri-cooperative association Copa-Cogeca urged the European Commission to take action over the export restrictions, warning that is unacceptable that the agriculture sector is bearing the consequences of the Crimean/Ukraine/Russian crisis.

"I am saddened that the EU farm sector has been targeted once more in this dispute with Russia,” said Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen.

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. SUBSCRIBE

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.