Russia amends blacklist to allow imports of lactose-free milk, some fish and vegetables
The Russian government has removed some agricultural products, including lactose-free milk and dairy products, young salmon and trout, as well as some vegetables and nutritional supplements, from its list of restricted imports.
Seed potatoes, onions, and hybrid sweet corn can now be imported from Western countries after falling under Russia’s food ban in early August 2014. The exceptions to the list also include dietary supplements that come from plants and vegetables like vitamins, protein powders, and others.
Australian Food News reported earlier in August 2014 that Prime Minister Medvedev had banned imported beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, and fruit vegetables from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway.
The government decree to allow some products to be imported from Western countries was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday 20 August 2014. The amendments come after a group of Russians filed a petition to the Prime Minister urging for products needed for “special dietary purposes,” such as lactose or gluten free, to be excluded from the blacklist.
The amendments have been welcomed by Finnish dairy manufacturer Valio. Valio said its lactose free products were popular in Russia and a growing product category there. Lactose free fresh dairy products accounted for around ten percent of the volume of Valio’s exports to Russia.
“There is a large number of lactose intolerant consumers in Russia who have discovered Valio’s lactose free Valio products which enable them to enjoy the fresh taste of dairy,” said Mika Koskinen, Executive Vice President of Valio and Head of Valio’s operations in Russia. “Valio is happy to be able to serve Russian consumers again,” she said.
The number of people suffering from lactose intolerance varies in different parts of Russia, but Valio said the total was estimated to be as high as 60 million.
“Valio will resume its exports of lactose free milks and yoghurts to Russia as soon as possible,” Ms Koskinen said.
Ms Koskinen said the specific product portfolio would specified at a later date.