EU Support Needed to Reduce Impact of Russian Agri-Food Ban

EU - Speaking in Brussels this week, agri-cooperative organisations from Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania warned of the effects of the extended Russian ban on agricultural imports from EU countries.
calendar icon 7 July 2016
clock icon 3 minute read

The Russian embargo on European agriculture produce has had a huge economic and social impact on the Baltic countries and Finland and targeted support is vital, the organisations said.

The ban was implemented as part of counter-sanctions against Western countries due to the crisis in Ukraine, and was recently extended to the end of 2017, with some minor alterations.

The organisations pointed out that the Baltic countries and Finland exported a lot of value added food products to Russia for a long time and it has had a huge impact on their countries.

Speaking at the event, Tiina Linnainmaa stated: “The impact of the Russian embargo is easily forgotten now when new topics are appearing, like the immigrant crisis and Brexit. Farmers and their cooperatives are suffering from the embargo. The EU Commission and high ranking EU politicians have not put enough effort in to help them.”

Edgars Ruža said: “We can see, especially in the Baltics, young people move from the countryside to work elsewhere because of the economic situation in agriculture. This will have an impact on agriculture output in the future.”

“It takes time, energy and it is costly to find new markets and adapt production and processing to new outlets. Different EU financed export and promotion measures should therefore be designed to help the Baltic and Finnish processors get to new markets,” said Roomet Sõrmus.

The cooperative organisations in the Baltic countries and Finland called on the EU Commission, Council and EU parliament to swiftly establish targeted measures that help cooperatives to find new markets and keep the producers in business, and to keep discussions going with Russia on the food embargo.

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