Bord Bia is leading a dairy mission to Moscow, which continues until tomorrow. Food companies attending the mission include the Irish Dairy Board, Kerry Group, Dairygold, and Lakeland Dairies, in advance of the industry’s expansion in 2015.
Michael Hussey, dairy and ingredients sector manager with Bord Bia, said: “This is a significant opportunity to demonstrate the Irish dairy industry’s commitment to operating sustainably with customers in Russia.
“Developments in the Russian market and the reduction of tariffs for dairy products will provide new business opportunities for Irish dairy companies.
“As Ireland gears up for increased milk production, international markets such as Russia are set to play an increasingly important role in securing new customers.”
Russia’s recent accession to the World Trade Organisation is set to provide further potential growth for Irish food and drink, particularly in dairy. Russia is one of the world’s largest import markets for butter, importing 129,000 tonnes in 2011.
Other key dairy imports in 2011 included skimmed milk powder 71,000 tonnes, whey powder 51,000 tonnes, cheese 369,000 tonnes and whole milk powder 20,000 tonnes.
Ireland’s food and drink exports to Russia in 2011 grew by 33% to €150m having more than trebled since 2009.
Pork, beef, and seafood in particular have contributed to the strong growth in recent years.
Alla Barinova, Bord Bia’s Russia market manager, said: “Identifying and building relationships with strategic partners will be critical for Irish dairy companies’ success in the market.
“Our mission this week is specifically targeted at building on previous research to enable Irish dairy companies to source new customers in Russia.”