Dairy firms must dig in to reach China

Take note – story published 8 years ago

Ten of Latvia’s leading dairy sector companies have received the necessary certification from Chinese agricultural authorities to begin exports to the massive market, however hopes to thereby ease losses caused by Russia’s embargo on EU food imports will take at least a year to realize, reported Latvian Radio Monday.

Board chairman Anita Skudra of the farmer-owned Latvijas Piens concern told LR that the green light from China for Latvian dairy exports means only theoretical prospects that still require a great deal of time and effort. She called the year ahead an “experimental phase” that would hopefully see the first lines of export finally secured by then.

After Latvia’s agricultural delegation visit to China at the beginning of the month, it was reported that products including cheese, powdered milk, cream and ice cream would get the green light from the prospective trading partner. However Chinese demand for such products is still considered to be fairly low, so the milk processing firms must seek to create specific brands for this market.

Company sales director Egils Mūrnieks said Latvijas Piens would probably start with certain cheese products that can keep for at least three months and not require major repackaging or rebranding programs. He said the essential task was to find a stable and solvent business partner in China.

As Jānis Šolks of the Milk Producers’ Central Association told LR, the Chinese market will be a challenge to break into for Latvia’s dairy sector, as the certification process is only the first stage of finding entry into it.

China has also certified four of Latvia’s fish canneries for exports, it was reported after Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs’ meeting with his counterparts at a food and beverage market trade show in Shanghai.

At the time the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China published a list of ten Latvian food producers that have been granted permits to export their dairy products to China.

The list includes the companies Preilu siers, Rigas Piena kombinats, Valmieras piens, Latvijas Piens, Cesvaines Piens, Rankas Piens, Smiltenes piens, Blome Dairy Plant, Jaunpils pienotava, and Rigas Piensaimnieks.

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