Russia inks agreement to allow dairy exports from India with condition

Russia has signed the agreement to allow dairy exports from India. However, there is a condition – companies should procure milk directly from farms and not from collection centres.

Rossel khoznador, a Russian federal service for veterinary and phyto sanitary surveillance (FSVPS) agency has already conducted inspections of those players who are willing to export.

A senior official of the ministry of commerce stated that the Russian SPS concerns highlighted foot and mouth disease (FMD), which spread across India in the recent past.

“Apart from this, the Russian agency has already carried revised inspections of Indian dairies to ensure that the cattle are free from FMD,” he added.

“The agency will soon announce the results on its website stating the Indian companies that are eligible for exports,” the official said.

“Tension is mounting on players like Amul, who procure milk across the nation through its collection centres,” he added.

“They will face a problem if Russia’s condition over milk procurement is not further negotiated. It will take some time to finalise all the negotiations in this regard,” the official said.

He added that several players in the market were demanding that the protocol be signed and the ones who were not eligible could join later.

Anup Chatterjee, director, business development, Schreiber Dynamix Dairies, Pune Ltd, said, “We are of the opinion that the protocol should have provisions and permissions which should grant access to the eligible players in the market.”

“Other players, once done with their arrangements, can join us in exporting to Russia,” he added.

Chatterjee said that although the Russian market was not suitable, brands were interested in exporting dairy products to the country to expand their portfolio.

He added that the time taken to send a consignment to Russia was approximately 45 days. This, he said, added to the delay.

“Due to stringent laws and prolonged negotiations with Russia, there is still hope as Russia has not lifted the ban on dairy products from the European Union, which was a big importer of the same. Russia also imports dairy products from Brazil and Iran,” Chatterjee said.

Initially, the Russian agency found only two companies – Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Ltd and Parag Milk Food Ltd – eligible to export due to the condition of 1,000 cattle heads. That condition has now been removed.

On extensive lobbying and discussions between both the governments, Russia negotiated the bilateral agreement.

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