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Fruit & veg lift Turkish exports to Russia by 73%

Turkey's exports increased by 15.8 percent in May compared to the same month of the previous year, according to data released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) Thursday.

The monthly export volume stood at around $12.5 billion, increasing for the seventh consecutive month. In the first five months of 2017, Turkey's exports have recovered, marking a 10 percent increase in total. The TİM announced the numbers during a press conference attended by Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.

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Niyazi Gasymov: it’s nice to invite competitors to the negotiation table

An interview with Niyazi Gasymov, President of the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Fresh Produce, head of SoyuzPromContract

The importance of sectoral associations on the Russian fresh produce market grows every year. Due to such organizations, market participants can establish dialogues with state officials, representatives of other market segments, with the mass media and consumers, deliver their message, voice proposals, and insist on changing the rules of the game. One of such organizations is the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Fresh Produce (APIEFP) established in 2014.

The previous interview with the Association President was posted at FruitNews two years ago, almost right after formation of this organization. This time again we would like to talk about changes in the Association, its development, plans for the future, as well as about current and foreseeable changes in the Russian market of fruits and vegetables.

Mr. Niyazi K. Gasymov, President of the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Fresh Produce, head of SoyuzPromContract, responds to questions by FruitNews. Mr. Gasymov was elected the President of the Association in September 2016 having replaced Mr. David A. Kalikhman, the first President of the Association.

FN: Tell us about current activities of the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Fresh Produce (APIEFP), please.

Niyazi Gasymov, President of the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Fresh Produce, head of SoyuzPromContract

N.G.: Any activity has certain stages of development. There is a stage of initiation, formation, and development. We have become recognizable over the past two years. We have realized that, as association, we are in the making. This stage can obviously get prolonged, if there are no stimuli inside. But we, as association, have been assertive, we are known, and our opinion is considered

Our further objective is to invite more foreign companies to become Association members, to contribute to the Russian Federation development. We have communicated with companies from Egypt, Argentina, Israel, and Chile recently. These companies are ready to start investing in the Russian agriculture. We are happy and inspired that we can be useful to such companies, if they have some questions.

FN: Does it mean you feel like a bridge for foreign companies coming to the Russian market?

N.G.: The initiative to establish the Association originally came from the bottom. Usually it is the initiative of top tiers to create some superstructure. But we, four large Russian companies, got together several years ago, like we had done previously, to talk about certain programs. These companies were Globus, Nevskaya, SoyuzPromContract, and Tropic International. Initially, four of us were going to talk about current activities. Later on, AkhmedFruit joined us. And five of us started thinking of forming a platform for discussions. We realize that we are competitors, but it is nice to invite competitors to the negotiation table. Let each of us have its own plan. But if such a platform can help us be useful to each other and, correspondingly, to the country, why not?

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Niyazi Gasymov: wholesale suppliers have less space for operation

Shortly before the New Year, FruitNews requested participants of the fresh produce market and representatives of related sectors to describe the most significant events and achievements in 2016, and share their expectations and plans for 2017.

Niyazi Gasymov, President of the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Fresh Produce, head of SoyuzPromContract.

Niyazi Gasymov, President of the Association of Producers, Importers and Exporters of Fresh Produce, head of SoyuzPromContract

- The year 2016 was slightly weaker than 2015. But it had been anticipated. We are living in the period of isolation. I understand that sanctions are not an end in itself. However, if the government made such a decision, we have to follow this policy. A positive outcome is that many Russian [products] started to appear on Russian store shelves. First of all, it is nice that Russians have joined this process and realize that the period of free resources is finishing, and that it is necessary to work to deserve good living standards. We can see that people have started really investing in agriculture.

- A very encouraging fact is that Russian agricultural companies are luring foreigners – the Dutch, the Israeli, and the Egyptian. For instance, I know the Egyptian company Daltex. It is planning to establish its own firm in Russia to grow seed potatoes. It is good that many Europeans, being aware of importance of the Russian market, are heading to Russia. I am confident that in the next five to ten years (agriculture is long-term money) Russia will be capable of filling certain gaps regarding plants grown in our country. It concerns apples, in particular. I know that some companies plant 200 to 300 hectares of gardens per year. And we hope that in the near future domestically grown plants will be able to fully substitute the currently imported produce. Obviously, we do not mean tropical or subtropical types of produce that are not grown in Russia.

- The biggest problem in 2016 was, probably, related to Turkey. Over the past few years this country has been a supplier of cheap fruits and vegetables. We should give a credit to Turkish suppliers. Firstly, over the past few years they have been producing what the Russian market requires. Secondly, the quality of the Turkish produce corresponds, more or less, to the European produce. Thirdly, they found the way, quite quickly, to fill the gap that emerged as a result of sanctions against European products. When it was decided to close Turkey, I immediately realized that it would affect the consumer basket. Cutting off Turkey was extremely painful for all of us. It affected our market very much.

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Agriculture has big role to play in curbing greenhouse gas emissions

Rapid action needed to put smallholders and food systems on sustainable paths

A farmer in Tanzania uses hay to help mulch and prevent soil erosion.

17 October 2016, Rome - The pledge to eradicate hunger and poverty must go hand in hand with rapid transformations of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, FAO said today in a new report.

Agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture must both contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to The State of Food and Agriculture 2016.

"There is no doubt climate change affects food security," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said while presenting the report. "What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have planted."

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Problems of Russia-RSA Fruit Trade

The 14th session of the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on trade and economic co-operation between Russian Federation and Republic of South Africa (ITEC) will be conducted in Pretoria on 16-18 November, 2016.

It’s a very important event for business of the two countries because the current problems of bilateral co--operation become the subject of discussions in the course of the ITEC. It is known that fruit trade – a basic single item of the trade turnover between Russia and South Africa - has been put to a severe stress in the last two years.

According to statistics of Federal Customs Service of Russia for 2015 import of oranges from South Africa decreased by 40% in comparison with 2014. In the current 2016 export of SA citrus to Russia will fall even further. This is happening in contradiction to call of leaders of the two countries, President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma, to increase exports of South African fruits to Russia sounded during visit of Jacob Zuma to Moscow in August 2014. In the opinion of South African and Russian business the main reason for the drop of SA fruits import to Russia was introduction by the Russian side of a trade barrier in the form of a special EAC transport marking mandatory from February 2015.

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Bilateral trade of agricultural products and foodstuff

Bilateral trade of agricultural products and foodstuff was discussed at a meeting of the Minister of Agriculture of Russia, Mr. Aleksandr Tkachyov, and the Minister of Agro-Industry of Argentina, Mr. Ricardo Buryaile, on October 20.

Aleksandr Tkachyov noted that Argentina could be considered a supplier of some produce, given Russia’s demand for imports of certain types of food products and its policy aimed at reorienting imports.

“We have an opportunity to increase supplies of Argentinean pears, apples, citrus fruits, seafood, and dairy products. Simultaneously, expansion of exports of Russian agricultural products to Argentina will provide for balancing the bilateral trade,” the Russian minister declared.
Ricardo Buryaile confirmed the interest in development of trade between the two countries citing readiness for larger supplies of Russian fertilizers to Argentina.

“I hope, through joint efforts, we will manage to bring parameters of trade of agricultural produce between the countries to a qualitatively new level, inter alia by expanding the range of products,” Aleksandr Tkachyov pointed out.

Source: Press Service of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia

Russia lifts ban on Turkish citrus, stonefruit

Russia has dropped its ban of various key Turkish produce items, almost a year after the restrictions were put in place due to a military jet being shot down by the Mediterranean country.

The ban was implemented in January this year, and applied to produce items including tomatoes, oranges, grapes, plums, peaches, apricots and strawberries.

In a posting on the Russian Government’s website, a document said imports for many of these had now been authorized.

“The signed decree excluded from the list: fresh or dried oranges, fresh or dried tangerines (including Tangiers and satsuma), clementines, wilkings and similar citrus Hebrides, fresh apricots, fresh peaches, including nectarines, fresh plums and blackthorns,” the document says.

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