Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron hopes for breakthrough on trade tensions during US visit

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron meets Trump: A state visit with discord on the horizon?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mahalia, Ariana Grande & Willie Nelson

Read more

FOCUS

Tramadol: Cameroon’s low-budget opioid crisis

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU citizens’ consultations: Macron’s efforts to renew Europe

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Strengthening ties Down Under: The man charged with promoting Australia in France

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Jagland: ‘Would be disastrous if Russia pulls out of Council of Europe’

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Much ado about nothing? Actress Natalie Portman's boycott of 'Jewish Nobel awards' sparks backlash

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump: Strategic BFFs?

Read more

France

Video: Russia food ban a ‘nightmare’ for French farmers

© AFP/ French cheese factory

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-08

French food trader Jean Selverro will lose €200 thousand a month because of Russia’s import bans on food from the European Union, announced this week. Normally, 90 percent of his apples and pears are exported to Russia.

“I’m shocked,” he told FRANCE 24. “I think it’s a nightmare I need to wake up from. It’s just not possible. I have to tell my employees, some who have been with me for nine years. Tomorrow or the day after, it’s over.”

A truck loaded with 22 tonnes of Selverro’s fruit now has to be emptied.

President Xavier Beulin of a French farm union said the Russian import ban could seriously affect France’s fruit and vegetable industry. “Russia is a significant market for us and one that grows by about 10 percent each year. It’s not trivial,” he told a European television network.

But it is not just fruit and vegetables. At the Rungis food market outside of Paris, cheese exporter Sabah Quartau was working the phones trying to determine the fate of her company’s next shipment. She has been told that trucks transporting food are likely to be stopped at the border.

“The merchandise inside [a truck nearing the border] will now need new clients before it reaches its expiry date,” she says. Last year, her company’s exports to Russia totaled €2 million.

The US, Canada and the European Union together will take more than a $17.5 billion hit from the one-year ban, imposed by Russia in retaliation for Western sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine.

The United States exported about $1.2 billion in food and agricultural goods to Russia last year, less than one percent of total U.S. agriculture exports. The EU exported about 11.8 billion euros ($15.8 billion) to Russia, about 10 percent of its total agriculture exports. Canada’s agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $563 million Canadian dollars ($515 million) in 2012.

In the EU, France, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany will feel much of the loss. France sends 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) worth of agricultural products to Russia annually. The Netherlands send 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion), Germany 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion) and Poland 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion).

Russia’s ban on Polish apples, announced last week, led to a popular campaign in Poland, where people were urged to drink more cider and eat more apples. A widely used slogan was, “An apple a day keeps Putin away!”

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

Date created : 2014-08-08

  • RUSSIA

    Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • RUSSIA - EU

    Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

COMMENT(S)