Russia seeks to reduce reliance on imports

Published 21 April 15

As part of the Russian government’s objective of long term import substitution, it has launched a new programme of state support for agriculture which includes support for construction and development of dairy farms. Although Russia has seen a year-on-year growth in product production, most notably cheese which is up 35%, it is being limited by slow growth in milk supply. In 2014, annual milk production totalled 29.7billion litres, up only 0.08% on the previous year.

Before the embargo, implemented in August last year, Russia was the second largest importer of dairy products, with the EU accounting for 45% of those imports. EU manufacturers have already had some success in dealing with the lack of the Russian market. However, searching for longer term alternatives is likely to continue, especially if Russia is successful in its desire to become less reliant on imports.