Russia Goes Green! Putin Wants New Russian Brand of Eco-Friendly and Organic Foods!
Russia will create its own brand of Eco-friendly and safe foods. Vladimir Putin gave this assignment to the government during his Address to the Federal Assembly.
Vadim Zavodchenkov found out how one can ramp up the production of the green products.
— Vadim, good evening. What are the prospects for Russia in this market?
— Good evening. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Russia is able to provide for up to 15% of the world market's demand for organic products.
Today, there's a trend for healthy nutrition in the world. The trend is growing in Russia too but at not a fast pace. The volumes of the healthy food market have grown by 10 times since the beginning of the century. However, those numbers are rather humble in comparison with other countries. We import 90% of the Eco-friendly products.
Australia is the undisputed leader in the number of organic farmlands. The top five also includes Argentina, China, Spain, and the USA. However, they have far less Eco-friendly farmlands.
Meanwhile, the USA remains the main trade market for organic products. Germany, France, and China are next in line for bioproducts.
For now, the sales volume in Russia is less by thousand times. This is because there are only 70 organic foods producers today in our country. Feel the difference: there are 835 thousands of such farmers in India, 210 thousand in Uganda and Mexico. Those very countries export fruits, vegetables, and their derivatives to the US and Europe.
All the organic foods producers stick to common principles: they refuse to use pesticides; they use animal and plant wastes as fertilizers; crop rotation for soil remediation. Compliance with those norms is carefully monitored twice a year. They take soil, plant samples at the farms and check over 700 criteria. As a result, the producers get their products certified.
What are the prospects for the Russian farmers? The lack of land hinders the growth of organic agriculture in the world. According to the experts, there are 200 square kilometers of land in Russia, which haven't been treated with chemicals for more than three years. To make it clear, those lands would fit nine such countries like Israel, five Switzerlands, two Portugals, and one Belarus. In fact, the reserves are even larger. According to the Russian National Agricultural Census, about 80 million hectares of land lies empty in our country. It is four times more than the cultivated Eco-friendly lands.
Eduard Pochivalin, managing partner of organic agricultural cluster: «We started with an empty field. We started creating our organic production, our organic cluster „Istoriya v Bogimovo“ about four years ago. We started farming about 250 hectares of fallow lands at once and passed the certification right away. Today, the fallow lands are the very resource that our country possesses».
The law that provides for regulating this industry should contribute to the development of organic agriculture in Russia. It gives a clear definition of organic production and states the requirements for it. The international standards certification of Russian goods should also help to put this industry to rights.
Sergey Korshunov, chairman of Organic Agriculture Union: «If we plan to export our products, we should get certified according to the US and European standards. The subsidiaries of those very European or American certifying companies will certify us, meaning that the cost of the certification would be quite high. The cost of certifying for crop farming will start at $4,500 annually».
This means that aside from the state regulation, apparently, the industry would also need serious state financing.
— Thank you, Vadim. Vadim Zavodchenkov has told us about the prospects of creating an international Eco-friendly products brand in Russia.