Russia suspends import of Polish cheese products after 'violations'

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Russia suspends import of Polish cheese products after 'violations'

Related tags: Russia, European union, Milk

Russia has suspended the import of cheese products and imitation cheese from Poland after "violations" were identified in a single product.

In a translated statement, the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Right Protection and Human Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor, CPS) announced that the import of "cheese products and damp cheese-like products​" from Poland had been suspended.

Poland was slapped with the temporary ban, which came into force on February 20, after an examination of Veselaja Korovka - which translates as Jolly Cow - revealed "violations."

Veselaja Korovka, produced by Polish cheesemaker Ostrowia, breached "technical regulations" ​relating specifically to labelling and dairy product safety, said Rospotrebnadzor.

“In order to ensure the rights of consumers, CPS suspended from 20.02.2015 imports into the territory of the Russian Federation cheese products and damp cheese-like products manufactured in the Republic of Poland,"​ it said.

"Caused by malcommunication"

Amsterdam-based Milkiland, which owns Ostrowia, has slammed the action taken by Rospotrebnadzor.

In a statement, Milkiland said the imitation cheese product, which contains around 5% milk fat, "is not for retail sales and consumption, it needs further processing."

“Besides, this is not a dairy or milk containing product,” ​said Milkiland CEO, Anatoly Yurkevych. 

“These facts proved by the relevant Russian authorities, we believe this Rospotrebnadzor decision has been caused by malcommunication.”

“At present, the Milkiland Group focused its efforts tom eliminate Rospotrebnadzor claims and restore exports of Polish products to Russia," ​Yurkevych added.

Russian embargo

Poland has already been "quite severely affected"​ by Russian import bans.

In August 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev introduced a one-year ban on the import of beef, pork, poultry, fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products, including cheese, from the European Union (EU), the US, Australia, Canada, and Norway.

Poland, which exported US$142.5m (€125.8m) worth of cheese to Russia in 2013, was significantly impacted by the ban. 

Until now, no restrictions had been placed on cheese products like Veselaja Korovka.

The Polish Milk Chamber, which represents the interests of the Polish dairy sector, was also unavailable to comment on the wider impact of this latest import ban.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Cheese

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