Indian cooperative Amul and Russian dairy Galactika have reportedly begun trade talks that if successful will see the export of Gujarati cheese and milk powder to Russia.
Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported yesterday that Galactika and Amul, which is also known as the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, had begun discussions on the prospect of importing cheese and milk powder into Russia from India.
Rupinder Sodhi, managing director, Amul, told journalists in Moscow that talks had begun but that the size of the proposed shipments had yet to be agreed.
Sodhi was part of a 12-strong delegation from Gujarat that met with Russian government officials in Moscow yesterday.
Attempts by DairyReporter.com to contact Sodhi and Kishorsinh Jhala, chief general manager at Amul, were unsuccessful.
DairyReporter.com approached St Petersburg-based Galactika regarding the reports but was told there was no one available to comment.
Galactika, which boasts two dairy farms and three processing plants, manufactures milk, yogurt, drinking yogurt, and sour cream under its MilkTime, Large Mug, Tom & Jerry, and Madam brands.
It is unclear if its reported talks with Amul were driven in any way by the current Russian embargo on Western food imports.
On August 7 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a one-year ban on the import of beef, pork, fruit, vegetables, cheese, and milk from the European Union (EU), US, Australia, Canada, and Norway.
Lactose-free milk, lactose-free dairy products, and protein concentrates were among several items removed from the blacklist on August 21.
India is unaffected by the Russian embargo.
Since the ban on Western imports came into force, Russia has been scrambling to replace the lost stocks.
Amul, which processes milk supplied by 15m milk producers across India, currently exports products from its wide-ranging dairy portfolio to countries across Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, and Africa, including Kenya, China, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.