WBD gets EU export license to target expats
to receive a new EU license to export its products to Member
States. The move is expected to help the company target large
ex-pat Russian communities in EU countries.
Although the company says that it does not expect the certification to have any immediate effect on its overall sales turnover, the move is expected to help the company tap into significant ex-pat communities in Germany, France and the UK.
"Initially we will just be exporting a limited number of dairy products to both Latvia and Lithuania, where we have secured supply contracts with retailers," said Marina Kagan, WBD spokesperson. "However in the future we are hoping to expand our exports to other, larger markets. Already we are in discussions with German retailers to supply typically Russian dairy products to the large Russian expat communities there."
The export certificate has been granted to the company's leading Russian plant in Lianozovo, following inspections that were carried out by EU officials back in March. Inspectors from the European Union's Veterinary Services carried out a comprehensive audit of the plants production facilities in association with Russian Ministry of Agriculture officials.
The Lianozovo facility manufactures a range of processed dairy products that are unique to the Russian market, including soured milk drinks and chocolate-covered cheese kurd . These products, currently sold under brand names such as Neo, Bio Max, Chudo and Ginger Up, are expected to have plenty of scope in EU markets where there are large numbers of ex-pats willing to buy dairy products that remind them of home that simply cannot be purchased outside of Russia.
"The Russian and Ukraine markets will continue to be the focus of Wimm-Bill-Dann's future sales," said Kagan. "Perhaps in the long term the EU markets will have potential beyond that of the marginal ex-pat markets, but for the meantime it proves that our facilities are manufacturing dairy products that are up to the high standards set by the EU authorities."
Although the ex-pat market remains small, the steady Westward migration of people in the region is a trend that food companies are slowly starting to tap in on. Following the recent acquisition of Polish meat producer Sokolow, by Danish Crown and HK Ruokotalo, the company has said that one of the new markets it is planning to explore is the export of typically Polish processed meat products to larger ex-pat communities in both Western Europe and the US.