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Russia lifts ban on two Belarus cheese companies' products

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By Jim Cornall+

15-Jun-2017
Last updated on 15-Jun-2017 at 10:55 GMT2017-06-15T10:55:38Z

Cheeses from Shchuchin Creamery and Belsyr are now allowed into Russia after a ban on the products was lifted.
Cheeses from Shchuchin Creamery and Belsyr are now allowed into Russia after a ban on the products was lifted.

Two Belarusian dairy companies have had bans on their products entering Russia lifted.

The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) said, following the results of the analysis of the materials submitted by the Department of Veterinary and Food Control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus, temporary restrictions would be removed.

As of June 14, Belsyr cheese and Shchuchin Creamery’s milk powder, whey powder, cheese and butter will again be allowed into Russia.

Belarusian cheese

Shchuchin Creamery, located in the town of Shchuchin, close to the Polish and Lithuanian borders, has a production processing capacity of about 450 tons of milk a day. As well as the products exported to Russia, it also produces cream cheese, buttermilk, curd, and milk for the domestic market under the NaDivo brand.

The dairy company has been active in Belarus for more than 45 years.

Belsyr, which was founded in 2002, is located in Kalinkavichi, near the Ukrainian border. It produces a variety of cheese, including the brands Danke and Slavyana.

‘Fraud schemes’

Belarus has found difficulty in having some of its dairy products accepted by Russia.

This week, Rosselkhoznadzor for the Bryansk and Smolensk regions detained 40 tons of cheese, generated, according to the documents, by the Belarusian dairy company Mstislavmoloko.

The Russian agency said, despite official guarantees during veterinary inspection by Russian inspectors, it discovered clear evidence of fraud with labeling inconsistencies, as products marked as made by Mstislavmoloko also had signs that the origin was Babushkina Krynka, another Belarusian dairy company.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, ‘the circumstances show continuing fraud schemes in the supply of dairy products from Belarus.’

Talks with Chinese companies

Belarus has hinted at moves to export more of its dairy products to China.

Just last week, a meeting was held between Moscow-Minsk Bank and Xinrongji Holding Group Co. and the Chinese dairy company DRex Food Group Co. Ltd. regarding Chinese investment in the Belarusian agriculture sector. 

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