Indian companies to supply dairy products to Russia

The Russian market is interested in quality dairy products, especially in hard cheeses. Source: Alexandr Kryazhev / RIA Novosti

The Russian market is interested in quality dairy products, especially in hard cheeses. Source: Alexandr Kryazhev / RIA Novosti

Aleksey Alekseenko, Assistant Head of Rosselkhoznadzor, spoke in an interview to RIR about the outcome of the second inspection of Indian companies that produce buffalo meat, and new opportunities for manufacturers of hard cheeses in the Russian market.

How did the inspection go?

The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia (Rosselkhoznadzor) opened buffalo meat imports to Russia from India on December 4, and included four Indian companies in the register of organizations and individuals engaged in production, processing and /or storage of controlled goods imported into the customs territory of the Customs Union. All of them have already started supplying.

During the recent inspection, we visited six more companies. The last one (Mirha Exports) is the most advanced one I have ever seen. The enterprises are quite different from one another. We'll see how many of them will be included on to the supplier’s list. The faults can be corrected easily.

Russia’s requirements for products are among the most stringent in the world, making it difficult for manufacturers to enter the Russian market. Is this true? 

Generally speaking, yes. The state performs its key function - to guarantee security of its citizens in different spheres. And it copes with this task quite well. We have not had any serious food-related disease outbreaks for decades. This is exactly a result of the system working.

How long may it take for the new companies to receive permission?

The Customs Union countries should agree on the list of new exporting companies within three months. During the first stage it will take a few weeks to prepare a preliminary report about a company. Then it will be sent to the Indian company, which should respond soon.

Aleksey Alekseenko. Source: Alessandro Belli

How do you choose companies for further inspections? 

Our Indian colleagues provide us the list. This time the application included six companies; we inspected all of them. India said that in the future it wants to increase the number of companies to export dairy products. The preparatory work is done by the Indian side. They send inspectors to each company to determine whether it meets our requirements. After that, we visit the selected companies.

What is the potential demand for Indian buffalo meat in Russia?

It is not easy to estimate the demand in the Russian market. It depends on the interests of our business community. First, it depends on the price level for this meat. Second it depends on the willingness of our Indian colleagues to increase production for the needs of our market. The Indian side has said it is ready to reduce the price of products supplied to Russia in case sales grow. In this case, the system seems to draw up.

You mentioned Russia being ready to supply meat items to India. What were you referring to?

Russia has the potential to supply meat products in India. The Indian market may be interested in poultry imports from Russia. This will be a major breakthrough for our producers. We have asked about the requirements of the Indian authorities for import of our products, especially poultry. 

Is there any progress in granting permission for the supply of Indian dairy products to Russia?

Yes there is. Rosselkhoznadzor allowed the import of Indian dairy products to Russia. We have included two Indian companies in the register of organizations and individuals having the right to supply dairy products. The companies are Parag Milk Foods and Shreiber Dynamix Dairies, manufacturers of hard cheeses.

The Russian market is interested in quality dairy products, especially in hard cheeses. It is possible that during the next inspection we will visit a number of Indian manufacturers of dairy products.

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