Russia's EU food ban could hurt Irish cheese business

Russia's decision to ban most food from the EU could spell disaster for the Irish cheese industry.

Russia's EU food ban could hurt Irish cheese business

Russia's decision to ban most food from the EU could spell disaster for the Irish cheese industry.

The Irish Farmers Association reports Russia is now a major market for Irish dairy products.

IFA president Eddie Downey said Ireland has put a lot of work into making Russia one of its biggest export partners.

He said the agriculture minister, Simon Coveney, needs to do what he can to stop the ban hurting Ireland too much.

"All political efforts have to be made to make sure that food continues to be traded … and the vulnerable people are protected.

"I think the Minister need to get on the pitch and make sure that Europe realises the responsibilities that they have here, and protect the food industry."

Irish agricultural exports to Russia for 2013 were worth €235m.

Russia depends heavily on imported foodstuffs – most of it from the West - particularly in the largest and most prosperous cities such as Moscow.

In 2013 the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totalled €11.8bn, while the US Department of Agriculture says food and agricultural imports from the US amounted to $1.3bn.

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