EU Relief Package to Help Cheese Producers Affected by Russian Ban

| Wed, 09/03/2014 - 02:00

The European Commission has approved a financial aid package to help dairy producers hit by the Russian ban on imports of food products from Europe.

The aid package is expected to benefit Italian cheesemakers, whose exports to Russia last year have been calculated at €45 million by the Italian agriculture association Coldiretti.

The cheese-making industry has been badly affected by Russia’s ban, which was implemented a few months ago in response to the EU’s trade sanctions against Moscow for its role in the Ukraine conflict.

The aid package covers the costs of storing the dairy overstock for three to seven months. The first round of funding will be used to protect butter, skimmed milk powder, and cheeses with protected regional designations, including the king of Italian cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano.

“This is the response we have been waiting for,” said Giuseppe Alai, president of the Parmigiano-Reggiano Consortium. “These measures will support producers at a critical time, when the Russian embargo closes one of the trade routes that has proven among the most interesting in recent years in terms of growth.”