When a week ago in Sochi President Putin met with the heads of the defense and security forces, he spoke about additional measures to enhance mobilisation readiness.

“I want to say that the economic ability to increase the production of defence products and services quickly is a vital element of military security. All strategic and simply large companies, regardless of the type of ownership, must be able to do this.

We held detailed discussions on this topic in 2015 and 2016. Instructions were issued to modernise production, to create a reserve of material and technical resources, and to ensure the transportation of military personnel.”

His words were largely understood as being directed towards the heavy industries,  and no one mentioned agricultural complex, considering that  food production is one of the key defense industries.

A week later, Russia announced ban on its largest meat importer.

Officially, Russia bans Brazilian meat due to ractopamine. In February 2017, the same hormone was a reason why the New Zealand’s beef was banned, and not the country’s anti-Russian sanctions imposed after the collective West orchestrated putsch in Ukraine. Anyway, the banned substance found in the New Zealand’s beef cost this island nation its biggest buyer.

Many believe that current ban is a revenge for Brazil banning Russian athletes from the summer Olympic games of 2017. No one, however, connected this ban with Putin’s words about creating reserve of material and resources with food being a vital element of military security. The deal with imported food: delivery can be seized at any day.

Regardless of the reason, this ban is seen as a positive development for the domestic beef producers.

As Global Meat News report, “A ban on all beef and pork imports from Brazil, the largest meat importer to Russia, has been imposed by the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), over concerns about the detection of a forbidden hormone.

According to estimates from the Russian National Meat Association (NMA), which represents Russia’s leading meat producers, between January-September 2017, Brazil accounted for more than 90% of total pork imports to Russia​ and 60-65% of beef imports”

Rosselkhoznadzor banned produce from the country following tests that found the muscle growth hormone ractopamine, which is prohibited in Russia. The ban comes into effect on 1 December.

In a statement, Rosselkhoznadzor argued that despite the size of the trade, an import ban would not harm the Russian meat market.”

In 2013, Russia was the fourth largest importer of US meats, purchasing about $500 million-worth of beef and pork annually. Russian imports of U.S. food and agricultural products totaled $1.3 billion in 2013, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. For the  For the E.U., the figure was $15.8 billion in 2013.

With other largest importers like the EU, US, Canada and New Zealand being already banned, Russia’s domestic beef  and pork production is set to grow. The current production numbers and future growth estimates here.

News in Brief

March 19. /TASS/. Brazil fears that it may lose foreign markets for its agricultural products due to a scandal surrounding the sales of rotten meat by some of its companies.