News update:Mar 9, 2016

Implications of Russian ban on UK poultry exports

The UK poultry industry has outlined the implications of Russia banning imports from the EU and other Western countries in response to sanctions made on the country.

UK exports of poultry meat to Russia are worth £1.5m, this is less than 0.5% of the total value of the UK's exports. The country has only been exporting poultry meat to Russia since 2013 and the main products exported is chicken cuts and offel, the NFU explains. European exports are worth £62million per year.

Countries banned from exporting produce include Australia, North America, Canada and Norway. Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy will no longer be exported to Russia from these countries.

NFU deputy director General Martin Haworth said: "The UK exports very little to Russia. In 2013, for example, UK total food and drink exports, including alcohol, equated to just £115million including £17m of frozen fish, £5.7m of cheese and £5.3m of coffee.

"However, other EU countries do export a lot and there is every likelihood that a ban could have an impact on EU prices, which will then have a knock-on effect in the UK.

"This timing from President Putin is also worrying as it comes when most farm prices in the UK have already seen significant falls over the past year and any further downward pressure can only exacerbate problems.

"Looking back, when Russia banned imports of EU fruit and vegetables during the German E.coli outbreak in 2011, the impacts were felt throughout the supply chain – retailers were tempted by low-cost EU imports which led to pressure for UK growers to match unsustainable low prices.

"We have long said that we must have long-term commitments from retailers, ones which can take into account agricultural volatility – or in this case political volatility – so we are not in a position which sparks sudden and opportunistic short-term moves which threaten our ability to produce food in this country."

World Poultry

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